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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Honfleur ?1829

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 17 Recto:
Honfleur ?1829
Turner Bequest CCLIII 17
Pencil on pale cream laid paper, 107 x 156 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘17’ top right ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLIII – 17’ top right ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of a town scene. Finberg noted it simply as ‘Various buildings’,1 but the location has been identified as Honfleur.2 (For further information on Honfleur, see under folio 1 recto, D23699.) Turner concentrates on the details of the church towers on the left.
The view shares some similarity with Turner’s later watercolour, The Lieutenancy Building and Church of Sainte-Catherine at Honfleur, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24749; Turner Bequest CCLIX 184), with the building at centre of the sketch corresponding to the Lieutenancy building (for further information, see under folio 14 verso; D23725), and the church towers to those of the Church of Sainte-Catherine. The rounded and straight vertical lines at the bottom of the sketch indicating the shapes of boats, and the tower depicted at right consistent with a view from the Vieux Bassin quayside of Honfleur.
It is possible that the towers depicted may constitute two sketches rather than one, both conveying the same tower, but portrayed from slightly different angles.

Caroline South
May 2017

Finberg 1909, II, p.768.
Warrell 1999, pp.110, 259 note 34, p.269 no.69; ?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.

How to cite

Caroline South, ‘Honfleur ?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-honfleur-r1195636, accessed 06 April 2020.