Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dresden: The Monument to General Moreau at Räcknitz, with the City in the Background; The Helmet on the Monument and Distant Hills


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 89 × 162 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCVII 8

Catalogue entry

This is a prospect of the Prussian city of Dresden, taken from Räcknitz. The dome of the Frauenkirche can be seen, with the spire of the Kreuzkirche, Dresden Castle and Cathedral. In the foreground a group of figures gather around the monument to General Jean-Victor Moreau (1763–1813), supposedly erected on the spot where he died in the Battle of Dresden (August 1813). The Frenchman fought against Napoleon, on the side of the Sixth Coalition (Prussia, Austria, Russia).
Turner has transcribed one of the inscriptions on the monument reading: ‘moreau | der held | fiel hier an der seite | alexanders | den xxvii august | mdcccxiii 3’ (‘moreau, the hero, died here by the side of alexander, 27 august 1818’). A roman helmet on top of the plinth is rendered at top left.
For more sketches of Dresden see Tate D30296–D30303, D30896–D30900, D31024–D31042; Turner Bequest CCCI 1–7, CCCVI 6a–9, CCCVII 3–12.

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2015

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