Joseph Mallord William Turner

Pallien and the Napoleonsbrücke


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 139 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 176

Catalogue entry

Turner made numerous studies of Trier from across the Moselle at Pallien in both 1824 and 1839 (see, for example, Tate D20146, D24715; Turner Bequest CCXVIII 8, CCLIX 150). However, in this work, the artist shows the reverse view: Pallien from Trier. Turner seems to have based this drawing on a pencil sketch in the Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (Tate D28430; Turner Bequest CCXC 40 a).
Pallien is depicted set against a backdrop of vertiginous cliffs, streaked with mauve, terracotta and amber gouache. Straddling two of the cliffs is the Napoleonsbrücke, a bridge built by the French Emperor to link Trier to Aachen in 1804. Pallien itself is rendered in milky-yellow gouache and its architecture delineated softly in grey and burgundy watercolour wash. The tower and onion dome of the eighteenth-century Church of Saints Simon and Jude is at right, adjacent to a small arched bridge.
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCLIX 176’ bottom right.

Alice Rylance-Watson
September 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

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