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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Rouen Cathedral from the Seine, Normandy c.1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Rouen Cathedral from the Seine, Normandy c.1832
Turner Bequest CCLIX 162
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 – 162’ 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 the city of Rouen in Normandy as seen from the nearby banks of the Seine. In the foreground, particular attention has been paid to the quayside bustle while, in the distance, the cathedral’s towers and pinnacles rise above the crowded rooftops. This is one of seven colour studies of Rouen which Turner worked up around this date with a view to potential publication; for a list, see the entry for Tate D24655 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 90). Art historian Ian Warrell has identified a pencil sketch from the 1821 journey to France as the source for the present study: see Tate D25519 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 4a).1 For the finished watercolours of Rouen in the Turner Bequest composed with a view to engraved reproduction, see Tate D24672–D24674 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 107–109). All this activity culminated in three engravings 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 impressions T05604, T05605, T05607.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.271–2.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Rouen Cathedral from the Seine, Normandy 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-rouen-cathedral-from-the-seine-normandy-r1173100, accessed 16 January 2021.