The Jute

pencil and watercolor work depicting jousting on open water, with surrounding crowd in boats

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
The Jute; A Jousting Contest at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, Normandy​, ca. 1827
For The English Channel
Pencil and watercolor with gum arabic on paper
7 11/16 x 12 3/8 in. (19.5 x 31.5 cm)
Private collection
Courtesy Christie's

A lively joust dominates this view of the Norman harbor of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, identifiable from the faint silhouette of the fort in the center of the composition. Two figures precariously duel on neighboring boats while surrounding figures cheer and clamber in and out of the water. As there is no evidence that a tournament took place at this site, this sheet is an example of Turner mingling observation and imagination.

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