Joseph Mallord William Turner

Metz with the Cathedral, Bridge over the Moselle and Church of St Vincent; ?Metz


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 17 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts the city of Metz, located in north-eastern France close to the borders with Luxembourg and Germany. With rough, gestural line Turner represents the imposing Cathedral of St Stephen (Saint-Étienne de Metz) at centre, the Church of Saint-Vincent to its left, and the Moselle to its right. Metz marks the confluence of the Moselle and Seille Rivers, making it an important fluvial thoroughfare. Turner has suggested a number of boats in the foreground, moored at the banks of the river.
Drawn inversely to the principal drawing is a sketch of what is also believed to be Metz, rendered in slight pencil line. The ridged and hilly topography is cut by river valleys, a waterway suggested by serpentine line at the left.
For other representations of Metz in this sketchbook see Tate D28216–D28219, D28221, D28222, D28232–D28235; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 25a–27, 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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