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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Distant Views of a Town ?in Upper Normandy 1845

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Distant Views of a Town ?in Upper Normandy 1845
D35443
Turner Bequest CCCLIX 8
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 231 x 327 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘?Fish’ and ‘M...’, bottom centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘8’ bottom right
Blind stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ink ‘CCCLIX 8’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Although rather highly worked in watercolour, the subject of this sketch is difficult to discern. From the horizon appears to rise the skyline of a town punctuated with towers and a large dome, although no large town of this description is located in the region of Dieppe, Eu or Le Tréport. On the other hand, the curving band of choppy crimson strokes in the lower half of the sheet resembles a similar feature in D35457 (Turner Bequest CCCLIX 22) in which the flurry of red is more clearly intended as traffic on a busy road, or perhaps a mounted procession connected to Queen Victoria’s visit to the area. The possible connection between Turner’s tour and the royal visit is set out in the tour Introduction.
Verso:
Blank; except for patches of watercolour.

John Chu
February 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘A Distant Views of a Town ?in Upper Normandy 1845 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-distant-views-of-a-town-in-upper-normandy-r1173539, accessed 03 December 2020.