Joseph Mallord William Turner

Riverside Scene; Huy, Looking Downstream from the Hillside to the West of Ahin


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 154 × 94 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 4

Catalogue entry

Across the uppermost register Turner has sketched a small pastoral scene depicting cattle behind a seated figure looking out onto the Meuse. A settlement can be seen on its banks with hillside beyond. With the sketchbook turned upside down relative to the foliation, there are two further sketches of what Turner scholar Cecilia Powell has identified as the Belgian town of Huy on the Meuse.1 Despite their summary and rough character, the profile of the defensive citadel can clearly be seen in both sketches crowning the steep river valley walls. The drawings are pictorial jottings: abbreviated sketches produced to swiftly record information and in this case also accompanied by textual notes.
For other views of Huy in this sketchbook see Tate D28043, D28053, D28057, D28067, D28096, D28131–D28137, D28139–D28143, D28147, D28149; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 1a, 6a, 8a, 13a, 28a, 47a–50a, 51a–53a, 56a, 57a. There are also a number of colour sketches in gouache with watercolour and pen and ink produced on blue paper dated around 1839 (Tate D20221, D20222, D20226, D20268, D20288; Turner Bequest CCXX N, O, S; CCXXII I, CCXXIII C).
For earlier views of Huy see the 1824 Huy and Dinant sketchbook (Tate D20087–D20093, D20109–D20110; Turner Bequest CCXVII 2a–6a, 16–7); the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of the same date (Tate D19622–D19635; Turner Bequest CCXVI 36–43) and the Brussels up to Mannheim sketchbook of 1833 (Tate D29653, D29656–D29659, D29661–D29662, D29768, D29771; Turner Bequest 29, 30a–32, 33–33a, 90, 91a).

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2013

Powell 1991, Appendix, p.213.

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