Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fribourg: The Descent from the Hôtel de Ville

c.1841

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 235 x 336 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D33554
Turner Bequest CCCXXXV 14

Display caption

A sheet from the sketchbook that Turner devoted to the Swiss town of Fribourg in 1841. Like Luxembourg, Fribourg attracted him for its dramatic setting in a steep ravine. Its clusters of ancient houses huddled beneath precipices and its towers rising from rocky peaks formed a striking contrast of the natural and the man-made: urban civilisation could be seen to exist only tenuously in a wild and awe-inspiring setting.

Gallery label, June 1993