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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Harfleur ?1829

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Recto:
Harfleur ?1829
Turner Bequest CCLIII 6
Pencil on pale cream laid paper, 107 x 156 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘6’ bottom left descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLIII – 6’ bottom left descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of a street-scene in the town of Harfleur. Finberg identified this sketch as being of ‘Harfleur’1and the location has been confirmed2 (for further information on Harfleur, see under folio 1 recto, D23699). A bridge spans the River Lézarde at the centre, above which rises a church tower, recognisable from its shape and the decorative details conveyed as that of the Church of Saint-Martin (for further information on the church, see under folio 2 verso; D23702). Turner’s viewpoint is directly above the river.
Houses, some half-timbered, such as the one to the right of the church, surround the church and bridge on either side. Turner concentrates on details of the church tower, and the upper parts of the buildings, the shapes of their roofs, the skyline they form, but also on the arch of the bridge below which draws the eye into the scene. Art historian Ian Warrell notes3 that Turner used this preliminary sketch for his later watercolour The Church of Saint-Martin at Harfleur, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24651; Turner Bequest CCLIX 86).
Finberg 1909, II, p.768.
Guillaud and others 1981, fig.663, p.326; ?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, p.270 no.78.
Technical notes:
The page is creased at the bottom right corner.

Caroline South
May 2017

How to cite

Caroline South, ‘Harfleur ?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-harfleur-r1195615, accessed 22 May 2024.