J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

France and Folkestone Sketchbook 1826

Turner Bequest CCLVI
Sketchbook bound in boards with speckled buff oil paper covers, marbled edges, and document pockets on the inside covers
46 leaves of white laid and grey wove paper
Approximate size of page 158 x 104 mm
Watermarked ‘1822’ with crown and laurel design
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This slim sketchbook bound in oil paper covers contains pencil studies of the coastal terrain on both sides of the English Channel and several sketches of the towns of Northern France. The volume lacks the kind of detailed architectural studies which often punctuate Turner sketchbooks of this date and type, and is comprised only of rapid notations. The artist worked mainly on the pages in the first half of the sketchbook as currently foliated and much of second half has been left blank. A pencil note by Turner on folio 14 verso (D24132; Turner Bequest CCLVI 13a) locates the scene depicted to Folkestone. This page along with drawings describing Calais, Beauvais and the local dress of Northern France give the sketchbook its title.
The volume has attracted limited attention and few attempts to secure a date for its contents. The drawings were certainly made after 1822, which is the date of the paper’s watermark. In his 1909 Inventory of the Turner Bequest, A.J. Finberg suggested a date of around 1830 presumably based on stylistic factors.1 The present catalogue adopts the 1826 dating tentatively ventured by Tate curator Ian Warrell in 1997.2 In this version of events, Turner used this sketchbook on the final leg of an autumn tour of Northern France which ended with a hasty journey from Paris back to England. Hence the fleeting glimpses of Beauvais, Calais and the coastline near Dover. The sketchbooks more securely linked to this tour are grouped into the present section for comparison.
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.776.
Warrell, London 1997, p.156.
The sketches of identifiable locations appear on the following folios:
Beauvais: Folio 4 Verso (D24112; Turner Bequest CCLVI 3a).
Calais: Folios 8 Verso to 9 Verso (D24120–D24122; Turner Bequest CCLVI 7a–8a); 11 Recto (D24125; Turner Bequest CCLVI 10); 14 Verso (D24132; Turner Bequest CCLVI 13a).
Folkestone: Folio 14 Verso (D24132; Turner Bequest CCLVI 13a).
Technical Note:
The lower right-hand quadrant of folio 43 recto (D24163; Turner Bequest 41a) was torn out before John Ruskin numbered the pages. As a consequence Ruskin appears to have missed the page initially and numbered it ‘41a’ on the torn edge once he had noticed the oversight. Folios 1 and 46 are flyleaves of light-grey wove paper. Neither the recto nor verso of folio 1 bears any mark by Turner so the leaf lacks a Ruskin number, a record in A.J. Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Turner Bequest3 and a Tate accession number. As a result of these factors, the overall sequence of the present foliation, the Tate accession numbers, and the Turner Bequest roman numerals are each out of step with the other. This concordance has been provided to clarify these discrepancies:
FolioTateTurner Bequest
2 RectoD24107CCLVI 1
2 VersoD24108CCLVI 1a
3 RectoD24109CCLVI 2
3 VersoD24110CCLVI 2a
4 RectoD24111CCLVI 3
4 VersoD24112CCLVI 3a
5 RectoD24113CCLVI 4
5 VersoD24114CCLVI 4a
6 RectoD24115CCLVI 5
6 VersoD24116CCLVI 5a
7 RectoD24117CCLVI 6
7 VersoD24118CCLVI 6a
8 RectoD24119CCLVI 7
8 VersoD24120CCLVI 7a
9 RectoD24121CCLVI 8
9 VersoD24122CCLVI 8a
10 RectoD24123CCLVI 9
10 VersoD24124CCLVI 9a
11 RectoD24125CCLVI 10
11 VersoD24126CCLVI 10a
12 RectoD24127CCLVI 11
12 VersoD24128CCLVI 11a
13 RectoD24129CCLVI 12
13 VersoD24130CCLVI 12a
14 RectoD24131CCLVI 13
14 VersoD24132CCLVI 13a
15 RectoD24133CCLVI 14
15 VersoD24134CCLVI 14a
16 RectoD24135CCLVI 15
17 RectoD24136CCLVI 16
18 RectoD24137CCLVI 17
18 VersoD24138CCLVI 17 v
19 RectoD24139CCLVI 18
20 RectoD24140CCLVI 19
21 RectoD24141CCLVI 20
22 RectoD24142CCLVI 21
23 RectoD24143CCLVI 22
24 RectoD24144CCLVI 23
25 RectoD24145CCLVI 24
26 RectoD24146CCLVI 25
27 RectoD24147CCLVI 26
28 RectoD24148CCLVI 27
29 RectoD24149CCLVI 28
30 RectoD24150CCLVI 29
31 RectoD24151CCLVI 30
32 RectoD24152CCLVI 31
33 RectoD24153CCLVI 32
34 RectoD24154CCLVI 33
35 RectoD24155CCLVI 34
36 RectoD24156CCLVI 35
37 RectoD24157CCLVI 36
38 RectoD24158CCLVI 37
39 RectoD24159CCLVI 38
40 RectoD24160CCLVI 39
41 RectoD24161CCLVI 40
42 RectoD24162CCLVI 41
43 RectoD24163CCLVI 41a
44 RectoD24164CCLVI 42
45 RectoD24165CCLVI 43
46 RectoD24166CCLVI 44
46 VersoD24167CCLVI 44a
The top right-hand corner of the outside front cover is stamped and inscribed in pencil ‘CCLVI’. The upper centre is blind stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram. The top left-hand corner of the inside front cover is stamped ‘‘CCLVI’. Folio 1 verso bears several notes by Turner’s executors. In ink, Henry Scott Trimmer signed the page and left the note ‘No 364. | 16 leaves of very slight pencil | sketches. In pencil, Charles Lock Eastlake and John Prescott Knight left their initials. The page also bears the pencil note ‘CCLVI’ and is blind stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram.
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909.

John Chu
July 2015

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How to cite

John Chu, ‘France and Folkestone Sketchbook 1826’, sketchbook, July 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, March 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/france-and-folkestone-sketchbook-r1185399, accessed 26 June 2022.