Joseph Mallord William TurnerSedan from the South-East c.1839

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Artwork details

Sedan from the South-East
Date c.1839
MediumGouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensionssupport: 141 x 191 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 13
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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In the middle distance Turner shows the two principal buildings of Sedan, the seventeenth-century church of St Charles with its two black, domed towers and the colossal fortified castle dating from the Renaissance. His viewpoint is to the south-east, just outside the Porte de Bouillon. The military activities of the foreground provide the scene not only with an appropriate human element but also with the requisite sense of scale. This majestic, land-locked scene stands in complete contrast to the brilliantly coloured view at Mézières (no.103); together they form a superb conclusion to Turner's views of the Meuse.

August 2004

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