Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Quayside and Tower of François I at Le Havre, Normandy


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 149 × 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 83

Catalogue entry

Turner worked a gouache and watercolour onto this ink drawing to depict the busy quayside at Le Havre in Normandy. As the small sailing vessels and their crews crowd the foreground, the sixteenth-century tower of François I frames the scene to the left-hand side. White and black paints have been allowed to bleed into one another in the background to give the impression of tall port buildings. Sketches of Le Havre’s harbour 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 lists of the sketchbook drawings, see the entry 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.
The centre of the sheet is inscribed in pencil with the Turner Bequest number ‘CCLIX. 83’. The centre is also stamped in black with the Turner Bequest monogram and number ‘CCLIX 83’. A note is inscribed in red ink in the bottom left-hand corner although this is obscured by mount.

John Chu
August 2014

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop