In 1839 Turner was fascinated by the complex fortifications of Mézières and its imposing sixteenth-century church crowned by a tower, and recorded them in numerous sketches. The domed top storey of the church shown here was replaced by a tall, tapering spire in the late 1850s, but its previous appearance is recorded in two of the earliest known of Mézières, believed to date from 1855. The sight of such monumental buildings inspired Turner to paint one of his grandest studies, reminiscent of his own historical oil of a much earlier period such as 'The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire' of 1817 (Gallery 106).
Gallery label, September 2004
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.