Joseph Mallord William Turner Brussels: The Diligence c.1839

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Artwork details

Brussels: The Diligence
Date c.1839
Medium Gouache, pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 140 x 195 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 219
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

This lively scene is based on a rough pencil sketch made while Turner was waiting for the diligence that would take him to Louvain at the very start of his 1839 tour. He modified the architecture of each of the buildings shown, but kept some of their essential characteristics and the composition as a whole remained the same. In his sketch, the celebrated town hall of Brussels was given only very summary treatment, but his memory gave him sufficient information to show the many ornate tiers of this immensely tall Gothic building in a thoroughly convincing, if somewhat impressionistic, manner.

August 2004

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