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.