Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ligny-en-Barrois

1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 154 x 240 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04749
Turner Bequest LXXVII 14

Catalogue entry

Turner passed through Ligny on his way home across France. For Turner’s four sketches of Ligny in this sketchbook see especially folio13 (D04748), a view similar to this but taken from slightly further away. Here the twelfth-century Tour de Luxembourg, the only remaining portion of the town’s ancient fortress, for which see also folio 16 (D04751), has become clearly visible between trees on the right. For a closer view of the arch, also brought into focus here, see folio15 (D04750). As Ian Warrell was the first to observe, the town walls, gate, bell-tower, approaching road and group of trees to right reappear in Turner’s design for the plate Christ and the Woman of Samaria in his Liber Studiorum. For his drawing for the plate, see Tate D08169; Turner Bequest CXVIII O. Although the classical organisation of the Liber design has usually been linked to Nicolas Poussin, and specifically to the picture Roman Road ascribed to him in Turner’s day (Dulwich College Gallery, London), Warrell sees the more ‘significant presence’ of Claude as being evoked by this scenery as Claude had grown up not far away at Chamagne, in the Vosges.
Verso:
Blank

David Blayney Brown
March 2004

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