Joseph Mallord William Turner

Overlapping Views of the Moselle Valley, Including One of Quint

1839

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 100 × 163 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28419
Turner Bequest CCXC 35

Catalogue entry

The sketch rendered in blunter, darker line and running parallel to the gutter of the book shows the valley of the River Quint which meets that of the Moselle at the village of the same name. Quint was the site of a thriving ironworks, whose ‘lofty chimneys’, writes Michael Joseph Quin, ‘indicate its extensive forges and works for the smelting of the iron ore which abounds in the neighbouring mountains’.1 The iron of Quint enjoyed a ‘high reputation’, according to Quin, and was ‘much sought after’.2 The juxtaposition between this dominant forge of industry belching out its effluent and the dramatic natural scenery of the Moselle Valley was captured again by Turner in a gouache and watercolour of the scene, produced later on in 1839 (Tate D24823; Turner Bequest CCLIX 258).
Below the sketch of Quint, and positioned inversely to it, is a rough and lightly rendered view of a river valley. To the left of the sketch of Quint, and drawn with the book turned upside down rather than horizontally, is a very slight sketch of a village at the banks of the Moselle. There is an inscription to it bottom right, just visible, which appears to read ‘Falzel’. Should this transcription be correct, the town to which Turner refers is Pfalzel, which neighbours Quint.

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

1
Michael Joseph Quin, Steam voyages on the Seine, the Moselle, & the Rhine: with railroad visits to the principal cities of Belgium, London 1843, p.302.
2
Ibid.

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