Joseph Mallord William Turner The Mouth of the Alf; Cliffs on the Moselle 1839

Artwork details

The Mouth of the Alf; Cliffs on the Moselle
Date 1839
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 100 x 163 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXC 11 a
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Turner's second Meuse-Mosel tour has traditionally been dated to 1834, but a sketch in this book, showing a statue not erected until 1837, has led to its redating. Many of Turner's 1839 sketches later formed the basis of his coloured drawings on blue paper. The two exhibited here clearly depict the same scene as no.61: the village of Alf and, on a hill over the Alf valley, the ruins of the strategically placed Burg Arras. The sketches are little more than memoranda and the gouache study follows them with a degree of artistic licence, but the essential configurations of the landscape remain both constant and close to nature.

August 2004

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