Le Havre: Sunset

watercolor depicting densely populated harbor scene

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Le Havre: Sunset, ca. 1827
For The English Channel
Watercolor strengthened with pen and red ink on white paper
7 x 10 1/4 in. (17.8 x 26 cm)
Indianapolis Museum of Art; Gift in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Hugo O. Pantzer by their children

Situated at the mouth of the Seine, Le Havre was one of France’s busiest trade ports. Turner renders the figures and buildings along the banks in thin washes of pigment so they appear to dissolve in the setting sun. This watercolor, along with the two nearby, was probably intended to be engraved for an unrealized print series depicting harbors along the English Channel in both France and England.

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