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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Gros Horloge at Rouen, Normandy c.1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Gros Horloge at Rouen, Normandy c.1832
Turner Bequest CCLIX 257
Gouache and watercolour with pen on blue paper, 142 x 192 mm
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX 257’ 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 fourteenth-century Grand Horloge timepiece at Rouen with the cathedral rising behind. Particular attention has been paid to capturing the busy life of the street and the heavily ornamented urban architecture by the application of dense, sketchy pen marks and irregular patches of blue and ochre paint. 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 of these, see the entry for Tate D24655 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 90). Art historian Ian Warrell has identified two pencil sketches in the earlier Dieppe, Rouen and Paris sketchbook as sources for the present study: see Tate D24518 (Turner Bequest CCLVIII 10) and Tate D24520 (Turner Bequest CCLVIII 11).1 For the finished watercolours of Rouen in the Turner Bequest, 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.272.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘The Gros Horloge at Rouen, 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-gros-horloge-at-rouen-normandy-r1173125, accessed 21 January 2021.