Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Porte Royale at Le Havre, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 137 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 181

Catalogue entry

Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints over this ink drawing to depict the outskirts of Le Havre, Normandy. As the town sprawls up the surrounding hillsides, the late eighteenth-century Porte Royal and its defensive complex is picked out with a band of ‘reserved’ paper and white accents in the middle of the scene. Sketches of this town’s harbour infrastructure and surroundings recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook and presumably contributed to the conception of this and a further four colour studies on blue paper: these are listed under the entry for Tate D24647 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 82). For a list of the sketchbook drawings, see the entries for Tate D23975 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 48). For the finished watercolours of the town which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24698 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 133) and Tate D24699 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 134). All this activity culminated a pair of engraved illustrations for the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impressions T05594 and T04699.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop