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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Street Scene with Bridge, Harfleur ?1829

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Verso:
Street Scene with Bridge, Harfleur ?1829
Turner Bequest CCLIII 1a
Pencil on pale cream laid paper, 107 x 156 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, depicting a street scene in the town of Harfleur (for further information, see under folio 1 recto, D23699). Finberg noted the sketch simply as ‘Street scene’;1 however, the location of Harfleur has been confirmed.2 The town is identifiable by the tower, on the left, of the Church of Saint-Martin (for further information on the church, see under folio 2 verso, D23702), and in addition by half-timbered houses such as the one to the left of the church. Turner picks out details of these buildings such as half-timbering supports and the perpendicular masonry spikes on the church spire.
At the centre of the view is a bridge, likely to be spanning the town’s River Lézarde or possibly a canal. The view is similar, albeit from a different angle, to that of Turner’s later watercolour, The Church of Saint-Martin at Harfleur, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24651, Turner Bequest CCLIX 86), although as art historian Ian Warrell states3 the main source for the watercolour is the sketch on folio 6 recto (D23709). Whilst the buildings depicted on the right of the sketch appear to be a continuation of the street scene, it is also possible that structure at top right is a separate sketch, of a water mill. A faint numeral ‘2’ appears to have been marked on the top right of the page.

Caroline South
May 2017

Finberg 1909, II, p.768.
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.
Warrell 1999, p.270, note 78.

How to cite

Caroline South, ‘Street Scene with Bridge, Harfleur ?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-street-scene-with-bridge-harfleur-r1195606, accessed 22 May 2024.