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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Cap de la Hève, Normandy c.1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Cap de la Hève, Normandy c.1832
Turner Bequest CCLIX 1
Gouache and watercolour with chalk on blue paper, 195 x 142 mm
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict the Cap de la Hève near Le Havre, Normandy. The two lighthouses at the top of the high cliffs at that location are clearly marked, as is a sailing boat listing in the English Channel’s choppy waters. Sketches of this coastal landmark recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook of a similar date, and presumably contributed to the conception of this and four further colour studies on blue paper: Tate D24567 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 2), D24594 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 29), D24645 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 80), and D24820 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 255). For lists of these sketchbook drawings, see the entry for D23975 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 48). For the finished watercolour of the Cap which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24701 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 136). All this activity culminated in the engraved vignette 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 impression T05593.
Turner filled the verso of this sheet with cursory white chalk drawings. A round form towards the bottom right-hand corner of the page may represent the moon while the outline of a narrow, tapering structure presumably represents one of the lighthouses at the Cap de la Hève.

John Chu
August 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘The Cap de la Hève, 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-the-cap-de-la-heve-normandy-r1173063, accessed 22 January 2021.