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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Honfleur, Normandy from the West c.1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Honfleur, Normandy from the West c.1832
Turner Bequest CCLIX 178
Gouache and watercolour with pen on blue paper, 140 x 192 mm
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX – 178’ 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 a view across the port of Honfleur in Normandy from the west. The wooden spires of the Church of Sainte-Catherine rise up on the brow of the hill while sailing vessels cluster around the harbour mouth. Dark-toned paints in blue, purple and russet have been allowed to bleed into one another at the centre of the scene to rich colouristic effect. This is one of seven colour studies of Honfleur which Turner worked up around this date with a view to potential publication; these are listed under the entry for Tate D24580 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 15). Art historian Ian Warrell has identified pencil sketches in the Tancarville and Lillebonne sketchbook as the source material for the present study: see especially Tate D23736 (Turner Bequest CCLIII 20).1 For the finished watercolour on this subject worked up with a view to engraved reproduction, see Tate D24700 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 135). All this activity culminated in an illustration for 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 T04707.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.269.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Honfleur, Normandy from the West 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-honfleur-normandy-from-the-west-r1173106, accessed 19 April 2021.