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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Lillebonne Castle ?1829

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 38 Recto:
Lillebonne Castle ?1829
Turner Bequest CCLIII 38
Pencil on pale cream laid paper, 107 x 156 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘38’ top right ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLIII – 38’ top right ascending/ vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of a castle on a hill overlooking lower ground and trees to the left and a church tower to the right. Finberg noted it simply as a ‘Ruined castle’,1 but art historian Ian Warrell2 points to this sketch (as well as folios 36 verso and 37 recto, D237769–D23770, in addition to the preliminary sketch, folio 37 verso, D23771) being referred to by Turner for his watercolour, The Castle at Lillebonne, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24807; Turner Bequest CCLIX 242).
Warrell3 also states that this sketch (as well as folios 41 recto and 42 recto; D23778, D23780) was used as a preliminary sketch for Turner’s watercolour, Lillebonne, Looking towards the Seine, 1832 (Tate D24675; Turner Bequest CCLIX 110),4 which was engraved for Turner’s Annual Tour Wanderings by the Seine, 1834 (Tate impression: T04702). Lillebonne is also noted as the location elsewhere.5
In this sketch, Turner concentrates on the shapes of the castle buildings and church, which renders them identifiable as Lillebonne castle and the Church of Notre-Dame, Lillebonne. (For information on the castle see under folio 29 recto, D23754; and for the church, under folio 28 recto; D23752.)
Finberg 1909, II, p.769.
Warrell 1999, p.271 no.87.
Ibid., p.274 no.123.
Wilton 1979, p.413 no.958, reproduced.
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.
Technical notes:
There is a brownish stain on the left edge and a similar speck at upper centre of the page.

Caroline South
May 2017

How to cite

Caroline South, ‘Lillebonne Castle ?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-lillebonne-castle-r1195678, accessed 22 January 2021.