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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Views on the River Seine 1821

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 8 Recto:
Views on the River Seine 1821
Turner Bequest CCLVIII 8
Pencil on white wove paper, 123 x 118 mm
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘8’ top right running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLVIII – 8’ top right running vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There are eight sketches on this page made by Turner as he was sailing down-river along the Seine. The top sketch depicts the Château de la Mailleraie at La Mailleraye-sur-Seine. See also folio 9 verso (Tate D24517; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 9a) for a more distant view. Several years later he painted a watercolour and gouache on blue paper of this subject (Château de la Mailleraye, c.1832, private collection) for Turner’s Annual Tour, 1834 (Tate T05608), and he is likely to have referred to these sketches.1
Two sketches of shipping follow, the first of which includes a screen of trees in the foreground. Ian Warrell has identified the scene as a view towards the mouth of the Seine.2 Beneath these and to the left is a small sketch of cliffs, perhaps at Le Havre, and to the right is a jetty with steps to the left. The final sketch drawn with the book in this orientation depicts a château on the banks of the Seine.
Drawn at the bottom of the page, with the sketchbook turned to the left, are two sketches which continue on folio 7 verso (Tate D24513; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 7a). The top sketch is of the commune of Caudebec-en-Caux as seen from the Seine.3 The commune is identifiably from the outline of the tower of its Gothic church. Turner painted a watercolour and gouache study of Caudebec-en-Caux from the River that is similar to this view during or after a return visit to the Seine in 1832: (Tate D24818; Turner Bequest CCLIX 253). There are further views of Caudebec in the present sketchbook on folios 9 verso and 14 (Tate D24517, D24526; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 9a, 14). The sketch beneath shows another view over the Seine.

Thomas Ardill
March 2013

Warrell 1999, p.274 under ‘Château de la Mailleraye, c.1832’.
Ian Warrell, Turner Catalogue Files, Tate, CCLVIII 8.
Ian Warrell, Turner Catalogue Files, Tate, CCLVIII 8.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Views on the River Seine 1821 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-views-on-the-river-seine-r1146301, accessed 05 December 2021.