Joseph Mallord William Turner

Brussels: The Diligence

c.1839

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

Medium
Gouache, pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 140 x 195 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24784
Turner Bequest CCLIX 219

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.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

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