Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Sketches of Towns between Givet and Mézières: Vireux; Distant View of Fumay; Town

1839

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 168 × 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28188
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 11 a

Catalogue entry

The sketches on this page extend onto the folio opposite (Tate D28189; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 12). They depict the towns of Vireux (now Vireux-Molhain and Wallerand) and Fumay, located south of Givet on the route towards Mézières (now Charleville-Mézières). The drawing at the upper register is a view of the picturesque town of Vireux on the Meuse River; the artist inscribing its name above along with an annotation which appears to read ‘all colours of rock’ below. Fumay, also situated in the Meuse valley and colloquially known as ‘The City of Slate’ (La Cité de l’Ardoise), is depicted at the middle register, the inscription ‘Fumai’ below it.
The city’s Church of St George with its bell-shaped spire appears on the opposite folio. At the bottom left is a sketch of a town in the Meuse valley with a small church at right. Next to it is the beginning of a further sketch of Fumay which is continued onto the folio opposite.
Turner briefly sketched Vireux and Fumay in the earlier Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19553, D19673, D19676; Turner Bequest CCXVI 7a, 62, 63a).

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

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