Joseph Mallord William Turner

Metz Cathedral and a Bridge over the Moselle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 101 × 168 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 27

Catalogue entry

This is a prospect of Metz, with the Cathedral of St Stephen (Saint-Étienne) at left and a bridge traversing the Moselle to its right. Low undulating hillside surrounds the city. Turner has inscribed the word ‘Metz’ at the bottom centre of the drawing.
This page has been torn diagonally in half, from top left to bottom right. It seems that Turner himself tore the page before producing this drawing because the line describing Metz’ surrounding hillside continues onto folio 28 eight recto (Tate D28221; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 28). The artist must have held the torn page flat against the next available page of the sketchbook to complete this panoramic view of Metz.
For other representations of Metz in this sketchbook see Tate D28200, D28216–D28218, D28221, D28222, D28232–D28235; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 17a, 25a–26a, 28, 28a, 34–36. There is also a gouache and watercolour drawing of the city produced on blue paper in 1839 (Tate D24757; Turner Bequest CCLIX 192). For earlier depictions of Metz see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19706, D19709, D19786; Turner Bequest CCXVI 79, 80a, 118).

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

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