Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Metz from a Hillside Cemetery to the North


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 101 × 168 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 28

Catalogue entry

This distant view of Metz was taken from a cemetery in the surrounding hillside, the crucifixes in the foreground marking out graves. Beyond, the valley is dominated by the profile of St Stephen’s Cathedral at centre. Turner has annotated the bottom of the drawing with the inscriptions: ‘St Pierre’ (St Peter), some illegible text, and ‘Roche’ (rock). He has labelled the landscape at bottom right with ‘vines’.
A triangular line at centre right is part of a drawing of Metz on a previous folio (Tate D28219; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 27) which had been badly torn, Turner continuing that drawing over the torn page onto the present page.
For other representations of Metz in this sketchbook see Tate D28200, D28216–D28219, D28222, D28232–D28235; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 17a, 25a–27, 28a, 34–36. There is also a gouache and watercolour drawing of the city produced on blue paper in 1839 (Tate D24757; Turner Bequest CCLIX 192). For earlier depictions of Metz see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19706, D19709, D19786; Turner Bequest CCXVI 79, 80a, 118).

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

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