View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
This expansive prospect of Huy was accessed by climbing the plateau of La Satre which lies outside the town walls to the south-east. The drawing is closely based on a rough preparatory jotting in the Spa, Dinant, and Namur sketchbook (Tate D28137; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 50 a), although in this gouache Turner ‘has enlivened the town walls at lower left’, Cecilia Powell writes, ‘by the addition of a few buildings included in a sketch from slightly further away, in the same general direction’ (see Tate D28143; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 53 a).1
The colouring is comprised of vivid orange, with yellow and pink tones offset by a brilliant azure sky. Turner has applied gouache in a softly smudged manner which lends the drawing the material character of a work in pastel. The eye is focused, however, by hairline pen and scarlet ink strokes used to delineate architectural features and the textures of the surrounding terrain. As Powell notes, the tone of pink found in this drawing is similar to that found in the ‘Kobern’ Moselle gouache (Tate D20271; Turner Bequest CCXXII L) and the expressive red pen has parallels ‘both elsewhere in the Meuse set and in those of the Mosel’ (such as Tate D24664; Turner Bequest CCLIX 99).2 ‘All these concurrents’, Powell writes, ‘indicate that Turner worked on the scenes in small groups after he had returned home, rather than individually at the places depicted’.3
Stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCXX N’ at bottom centre; inscribed in pencil ‘
25a’ and ‘5a’ at centre towards right.