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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Rouen Cathedral from the Place de la Haute-Vieille-Tour 1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 61 Recto:
Rouen Cathedral from the Place de la Haute-Vieille-Tour 1832
Turner Bequest CCLIV 61
Pencil on white wove paper, 174 x 117 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘61’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ink ‘CCLIV – 61’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with a view north from Rouen’s market square towards the rue de l’Epicerie and the south side of the medieval cathedral. Particular attention has been paid to the recession in perspective of the street’s irregular architecture terminating in the heavily ornamented Porte de La Calende with its arched doorway, rose window, and flanking towers. Rising to the top of the page are the high towers and pinnacles of the west front and centre crossing. For the watercolours of the cathedral’s architecture that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see especially Tate D24819 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 254), but also D24674 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 109), D24714 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 149), D24787 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 222), D24822 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 257). These 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 T05606.
A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring views of Rouen is provided in the entry for folio 60 recto (D23999; Turner Bequest CCLIV 60).

John Chu
July 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Rouen Cathedral from the Place de la Haute-Vieille-Tour 1832 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 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-rouen-cathedral-from-the-place-de-la-haute-vieille-tour-r1173406, accessed 25 February 2021.