OIL PAINTING: The Harbor of Dieppe, 1826
Bonington, Delacroix's closest English friend, was in Dieppe as early as 1823, when he painted the watercolor that opens the present exhibition. But as far as monumental painting was concerned, Dieppe made its entrance into the big time in 1825 when Turner painted his majestic "The Harbor of Dieppe," which is now in the Frick Collection in New York.
Handsome as that harbor was -- and still is, despite massive damage in World War II -- the painting might have been a happy but isolated fluke. When that lifelong traveler Turner moved on, that is to say, the landscape of Dieppe might have been left to its fisherfolk and its pioneer sea-bathers.