According to Cecilia Powell, this pencil sketch is ‘closest’ in composition to the gouache, pen and ink and watercolour drawing on blue paper of Huy depicted from a distance on the Liège road (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge).1 The colour drawing features the same hillside covered with vines to the right (the present sketch annotated as such with the word ‘vines’ at top right). Also depicted in both drawings are the islets and grassy sandbars within the Meuse River. The city can be seen in the distance marked out by the towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the citadel behind it, and the bridge traversing the river suggested by curved zig-zag line representing its arches.
At the bottom left of the page Turner has made a rough and slight sketch of Huy from the road leading to the nearby hamlet of La Sarte, inscribing what appears to be the word ‘Mills’ next to it. At the right, extending from the centre of the page towards the gutter and across onto the folio opposite (Tate D28136; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 50), is a rather indistinguishable array of markings: rough jottings of figures or buildings perhaps.
For other views of Huy in this sketchbook see Tate D28043, D28048, D28053, D28057, D28067, D28096, D28131–D28134 , D28136–D28137, D28139–D28143, D28147, D28149; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 1a, 4, 6a, 8a, 13a, 28a, 47a–49, 50–50a, 51a–53a, 56a, 57a. There are also a number of colour sketches in gouache with watercolour and pen and ink produced on blue paper dated around 1839 (Tate D20221, D20222, D20226, D20268, D20288; Turner Bequest CCXX N, O, S; CCXXII I, CCXXIII C).
For earlier views of Huy see the 1824 Huy and Dinant sketchbook (Tate D20087–D20093, D20109–D20110; Turner Bequest CCXVII 2a–6a, 16–7); the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of the same date (Tate D19622–D19635; Turner Bequest CCXVI 36–43) and the Brussels up to Mannheim sketchbook of 1833 (Tate D29653, D29656–D29659, D29661–D29662, D29768, D29771; Turner Bequest 29, 30a–32, 33–33a, 90, 91a).
Powell 1991, p.153 and Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.421 no.1024.
- River Meuse(226)