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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Caudebec-en-Caux from across the Seine, Normandy c.1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Caudebec-en-Caux from across the Seine, Normandy c.1832
Turner Bequest CCLIX 253
Gouache and watercolour with pen and chalk on blue paper, 136 x 193 mm
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX – 253’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints over this ink drawing to depict Caudebec-en-Caux, Normandy as viewed from across the Seine. River-going vessels float in the foreground while the spire of the Church of Notre-Dame rises above the rooftops of the town, here achieved in white chalk.1 As the view continues up into the surrounding uplands, the blue and green paints of the hillsides have been allowed to bleed together and subsequently accented with white. Sketches of Caudebec and its church recur frequently in the Guernsey and Seine and Paris sketchbooks and presumably contributed to the conception of this and two further colour studies in the Turner Bequest; see Tate D20235 (Turner Bequest CCXXI B) and D24760 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 195). For lists of the sketchbook drawings, see the entries for Tate D23550 (Turner Bequest CCLII 17) and D24029 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 75). For the finished watercolour of Caudebec which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24670 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 105). All this activity culminated in an engraving in the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impression T05601.
See Maurice Dragon, L’église Notre-Dame de Caudebec-en-Caux, Luneray 1997.
Technical notes:
A thin margin of darker blue paper around the edges of this sheet indicates damage from prolonged exposure to light. The verso is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Caudebec-en-Caux from across the Seine, Normandy c.1832 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 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-caudebec-en-caux-from-across-the-seine-normandy-r1173122, accessed 14 June 2021.