Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dinant, on the Meuse, from the South


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 139 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 159

Display caption

Turner is unlikely to have coloured these views of Dinant on the spot. Yet, as other examples in this display also demonstrate, he often made a number of colour studies of a site from much the same viewpoint, transforming the basic scene by varying the type of light falling over it. On this occasion his studies seem to have been undertaken to explore the way sunset light transforms how the eye perceives the colours of shadows. The use of the deep mauve unifies the silhouetted form of the rock and fortress above Dinant. A fuller investigation of this phenomenon was undertaken by the Impressionists somewhat later in the century.

Gallery label, August 2004

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