Joseph Mallord William Turner

Luxembourg from the Alzette Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Support: 138 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXII M

Catalogue entry

In this drawing Turner depicts Luxembourg from south-east of the Rham plateau. The city is loosely marked out in the distance, shrouded in an ethereal mist which rises from the Alzette river valley below. Turner’s palette of earthy brown and green hues along with muted purple and blue-grey is similar to Tate D20270; Turner Bequest CCXXII K. Also similar is Turner’s use of hairline strokes of pen and deep rust-red ink to suggest the crags of the rocky plateau and the topography and architecture of the city beyond.
The composition is derived from a rough pencil drawing in the Givet, Mézières, Verdun, Metz, Luxemburg and Trèves sketchbook of 1839 (Tate D28266; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 56 a).
Inscribed in pencil ‘8’ at centre towards right; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCXXII–M’ at bottom left and inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXII M’ at bottom right.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2013

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