Joseph Mallord William Turner

Givet and Fort Charlemont from the North

1839

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 101 x 168 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28173
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 4

Catalogue entry

Executed in cursory line, this sketch pictures the French town of Givet close to the borders of Belgium. From left, Turner depicts the Tour Grégoire, the stone bridge traversing the Meuse and finally, the fortress of Charlemont atop the mountain range.
The Emperor Charles V established Fort Charlemont in 1555 as a defence against the French, until Givet was formerly ceded to Louis XVI in 1699.1 Like Namur, the fortress had been strengthened by the French King’s chief military engineer Vauban.2
This and other sketches of Givet in this book (Tate D28170–D28172, D28174–D28185, D28187; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 2a–3a, 4a–10, 11) formed the basis of a gouache and watercolour drawing on blue paper (private collection).3

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

1
‘An Exciting New French River Scene: “Givet on the Meuse, South of Dinant”’, Turner Society News, no.110, December 2008
2
‘Givet’, Fortified Places, http://www.fortified-places.com/givet/, accessed 28 June 2013.
3
Reproduced in Powell 1991, p.163 no.102.

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