Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Metz with a Bridge over the Moselle, the Towers of St Vincent’s Church, and the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne


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 25 a

Catalogue entry

Rendered roughly with swift and free line, these are two panoramic sketches views of Metz from a distance. The prospects encompass the towers of St Vincent’s church and the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne. Underneath the bridge, roughly suggested at the left of the larger of the two sketches, Turner has inscribed the number ‘6’, and towards the right: the word ‘fete’ (i.e. fête, French for a celebration or festival).
For other representations of Metz in this sketchbook see Tate D28200, D28217–D28219, D28221, D28222, D28232–D28235; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 17a, 26–27, 28, 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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