Joseph Mallord William Turner

Pallien, Looking down the Moselle from the Napoleonsbrücke


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 89 a

Catalogue entry

The village of Pallien, depicted here, is ‘nestled most picturesquely’, Bartholomew Stritch writes, ‘at the foot of an enormous rock at the entrance of a deep valley’.1 A trip across the Moselle to Pallien was a detour recommended by almost all contemporary guidebooks, affording visitors an excellent vantage point from which to view, and sketch, the city of Trier.
Turner focuses on Pallien itself in this view, drawing the tower and delicate teardrop-shaped spire of the Church of Saints Simon and Jude and the Napoleonsbrücke close to the foot of the cliffs at left. The bridge was constructed in 1804 by the French Emperor to link Trier to Aachen; Turner pictures the structure in the Trèves and Rhine sketchbook of 1824 and also in a gouache and watercolour drawing of 1839 (Tate D20145–D20146, D24741; Turner Bequest CCXVIII 7–8, CCLIX 176).2 The Church of Saints Simon and Jude is shown again on Tate D19730; Turner Bequest CCXVI 91. These views are similar to a lithograph by J.A. Ramboux (1790–1866), depicting the church and valley from the Napoleonsbrücke (Art Institute Chicago, Illinois).3

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2014

Bartholomew Stritch, The Meuse, the Moselle, and the Rhine; or, A six weeks' tour through the finest river scenery in Europe, by B.S., London 1845, p.46.
‘Napoleonsbrücke’, Datenbank der Kulturgüter¿in der Region Trier, accessed 24 April 2014,
Johann Anton Albon Ramboux, View of the Mosel Valley below Trier with the Rocks of Pallien in the Foreground, 1824/27,

Read full Catalogue entry

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