Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views at Vernon, on the River Seine


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink and graphite on paper
Support: 140 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLX 23

Catalogue entry

This sheet is one of a series of sketches associated with a tour of the Seine with a proposed dating of 1827–9. The studies are characterised by the use of pen and ink on blue paper; for more information see the Introduction to this section.
The subject of the two drawings on this sheet was once thought to be Calais, but the art historian Ian Warrell has since identified it as Vernon in Normandy.1 Vernon was also the subject of a drawing engraved as part of Turner’s Annual Tour in 1835 (Tate D24694; Turner Bequest CCLIX 129; for a Tate impression of the print see T06247). The Annual Tour composition, which is thought to be somewhat later than the present sheet, appears to take inspiration from a related study also catalogued within this section (Tate D24860; Turner Bequest CCLX 24). The related study also sees the paper divided as on the present study, with two drawings in an almost panoramic format. This is taken a step further in a group of other sheets catalogued in this section Tate D24894–D24896, D24899–D24900, D24904–D24905 (Turner Bequest CCLX 58–60, 63–4, 68–69), which are drawn on paper cut into a wide format. Turner did not often work in this way, and Warrell has drawn a connection between the panoramic format of these sheets and the wide-format landscape paintings Turner made to fit into the carved room at Petworth (see Tate N00559), as well as Thomas Girtin’s views of Paris, which were published in a similar wide format.2 For more information, see the Introduction to this section.
The focal point of the lower drawing on this sheet is Vernon’s Old Mill Bridge; while in the middle ages five mills topped the bridge to grind the corn grown nearby, Turner captured the remaining buildings.
A further pen and ink drawing of Vernon, also dated to 1827–9, is in a private collection.3
Warrell 1999, pp.34, 202, 254 note 107, 262 note 163.
Warrell 1999, p.34.
See Warrell 1999, p.267, cat.37.
This sheet has been laid down on heavy paper and the verso could not be checked at the time of cataloguing.

Elizabeth Jacklin
October 2018

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