Joseph Mallord William Turner

Avenches: the Roman Column,‘Le Cicognier’

1802

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Medium
Graphite and chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 210 x 284 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04588
Turner Bequest LXXIV 95

Display caption

Avenches, near Morat, stands on the site of the Roman city of Aventicum, capital of Helvetia. A single Roman column, part of a Roman temple of Apollo, was long known as 'Le Cicognier' from the generations of storks who built their nests on it. Turner drew it on his first Continental trip in 1802; Byron saw it some years later, and described it in the third canto of 'Childe Harold': 'By a lone wall a lonelier column rears/ A grey and grief-worn aspect of old days'.

Gallery label, May 1992

Catalogue entry