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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Lighthouse at Quillebeuf ?1829

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 55 Recto:
A Lighthouse at Quillebeuf ?1829
Turner Bequest CCLIII 55
Pencil on pale cream laid paper, 107 x 156 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘55’ top right ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLIII – 55’ top right ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of a landscape with a lighthouse in the foreground. Finberg identified this sketch as ‘Lighthouse, at mouth of Seine’,1 and the locations of Lillebonne and Quillebeuf have been put forward.2 Art historian Ian Warrell states3 that this was one of the sketches which informed Turner’s later depictions of Quillebeuf in gouache or oils such as Quillebeuf, c.1832 (D24668, Turner Bequest CCLIX 103),4 which was engraved for Turner’s Annual Tour Wanderings by the Seine, 1834 (Tate impressions: T05610, T06242).
In this sketch, Turner concentrates on the shape of the lighthouse, and indicates the cliffs and River Seine beyond. The top part of the page may be a separate sketch, depicting the landscape from a different viewpoint.
Finberg 1909, II, p.770.
Warrell 1999, pp.38, 136, 137 fig.105, p.265 no.10; ?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), pp.3, 4.
Warrell 1999, pp.38, 137 fig.105, pp.138–9.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.414 no.969, reproduced.
Technical notes:
There is a strip of paler bleached paper running horizontally across the top of the page, with a corresponding area on folio 54 verso opposite (D23805); this is likely to have resulted from where the sketchbook’s ribbon marker band (no longer present) had been left in the book and thereby prevented the discolouration which affected the rest of the page, leaving a lighter band.

Caroline South
May 2017

How to cite

Caroline South, ‘A Lighthouse at Quillebeuf ?1829 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2017, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-lighthouse-at-quillebeuf-r1195712, accessed 04 December 2020.