Joseph Mallord William Turner

Liège from the Pont des Arches


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Support: 141 × 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 99

Display caption

By Turner's day Liège was already a large city and a thriving industrial centre with numerous ironworks and manufactories. In no.84 the large house at the centre with a steeply pitched roof, tall chimney and close array of windows is an embellished version of the sixteenth-century Maison Curtius, while the wooded area shown on the right is part of the Outremeuse, the long island in the Meuse which lies at the heart of Liège. In no.85 Turner shows the view from the south-western outskirts of the city close to the factories around Seraing, many of which were established by the Cockerill family of Lancashire.

Gallery label, September 1991

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Catalogue entry

Here Turner depicts the Belgian city of Liège with the River Meuse, its fluvial artery, at centre. The view is taken from the ancient Pont des Arches and incorporates part of the Outremeuse, a lushly verdant river island, at right. Some of the city’s principal monuments can be seen at centre, rendered cursorily in pale apricot and terracotta gouache with red ink. The illuminated rectangular tower situated towards the left is the Tour Saint-Denis, and next to it is the dome of St Andrew’s Church. Beside the church is the Maison Curtius, a building erected in around 1600 in the Mosan Renaissance architectural style.1 It was constructed as the home of the wealthy Liégeois patrician and manufacturer, Jean Curtius (1551–1628). To the right of the Maison is the tapering and slender spire of St Pault’s Cathedral, and finally, crowning the heights in the distance, is Liège citadel.
Liège is pictured in another gouache of 1839, showing the city from its outskirts with factories in the foreground (see Tate D20283; Turner Bequest CCXXII K).
Stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCLIX 99’ at centre towards bottom; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLIX 99’ at bottom right.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2013

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop