Joseph Mallord William Turner

Interior of the Cathedral, Trier, with Worshippers


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 97 a

Catalogue entry

In this sketch Turner stands among worshippers gathered inside Trier’s St Peter’s Cathedral, drawing as much of its vast architecture and interior as he can fit onto a page of such diminutive dimensions. Turner’s view includes the lower reaches of the Cathedral’s vertiginous piers, some embellished with Baroque sculpture, which rise loftily into arched vaulted ceilings. A smaller yet similar view is shown on Tate D19740; Turner Bequest CCXVI 96.
The artist inscribes ‘Domo’ at top right, a misspelling of the Italian ‘Duomo’ or the German ‘Dom’, both meaning cathedral. Originally Turner had written ‘Notredame’, before correcting his inscription to ‘Domo’. Notre Dame (Our Lady) refers to the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) which stands directly adjacent to the cathedral.

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2014

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like