Joseph Mallord William Turner

Buildings ?at Ghent


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 78 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 153

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the book turned upside down, these slight and summary sketches show the façades and profiles of various buildings. Slender cone-shaped turrets, a tiled roof, and cursorily rendered carved masonry can be seen. Turner has annotated the sheet with a dashed-off inscription which appears to read ‘[...]uys’. The lack of identifying features and the rather illegible inscription make it almost impossible to be certain of this view’s location. There is a possibility that the buildings may be at Ghent: perhaps part of the Church of St Nicholas (see Tate D19854; Turner Bequest CCXVI 150b), the Cloth Hall by the Belfry, or simply a view of a group of traditional buildings. Turner’s inscription ending ‘uys’ may also be his approximation of the spelling ‘huis’, the Dutch for ‘house’.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

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