Joseph Mallord William Turner

View from above Sainte-Adresse


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 107 × 156 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIII 12 a

Catalogue entry

The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of buildings on a hillside. Turner deftly conveys with a few strokes, the different planes of the sweep of rocky foreground, buildings perched on the rock in the midground trailing down to the church nestled at the bottom, and sea and cliffs in the distant background. Finberg suggested ‘Graville (?)’1 as the location; however, Le Havre has been confirmed.2
Art historian Ian Warrell refers3 to this sketch, as well as two following pages (folios 13 recto and 14 recto; D23723–D23724), and drawings in the 1832 Seine and Paris and Guernsey sketchbooks (Tate D24050–D24052, D24054–D24061; Turner Bequest CCLIV 85a–86a; D23597, D23603; CCLII 41, 45), being the result of Turner climbing to the headland above Sainte-Adresse, the Côte d’Ingouville,4 in the environs of Le Havre.
Whilst the buildings depicted share Graville Abbey’s hillside situation, no distinctive features of the abbey buildings are conveyed, and there does not seem to be a Gothic church, as shown lower right at such a location in relation to abbey, hence this view if more likely to be of Sainte-Adresse than of Graville.
Finberg 1909, II, p.768.
Warrell 1999, pp.109, 259 note 30; ?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.
Warrell 1999, pp.109, 259 note 30.
Ibid., pp.109 (referring to ‘Ste-Andresse’), 259 note 30.
Technical notes:
There are two small dark spots, apparently of ink, on the upper left edge of the page, and a similar dash on the edge of the right corner.

Caroline South
May 2017

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