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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?The Castle at Gisors, Normandy c.1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
?The Castle at Gisors, Normandy c.1832
Turner Bequest CCLIX 3
Gouache and watercolour on paper, 139 x 190 mm
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX 3’ 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 a large edifice set in a landscape framed by trees. The foreground is occupied by figures, lightly indicated by dashes of yellow gouache. As Art historian Ian Warrell has observed, the sketch is of a piece with the ‘colour studies’ of northern France which the artist worked up in the early 1830s with a view to engraved reproduction.1 Although loose handling has rendered the motif generic here, the round towers of the distant building may belong to the complex of medieval defences at Gisors, a town located some twenty-five miles east of the Seine as it flows past Les Andelys. Certainly drawings of the town recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook of around this date, and contributed to the conception of a colour study and two pencil sketches on blue paper: Tate D25007 (Turner Bequest CCLXI 35) and D25009 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 37). For a list of these sketchbook drawings, see the entry for Tate D23962 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 41a).
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp.23, 252 note 39.
The sheet is inscribed in pencil with the notes ‘ii’ in the centre and ‘D24568’ in the bottom right-hand corner. The Turner Bequest monogram and the number ‘CCLIX – 3’ are stamped in black towards the bottom right-hand corner.

John Chu
August 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘?The Castle at Gisors, 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-castle-at-gisors-normandy-r1173065, accessed 24 November 2020.