Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketch Map of the Meuse between Givet and Dinant; Part of a Fort


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 78 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 2

Catalogue entry

Here Turner has drawn a sketch map of the route of the Meuse between the French border town of Givet and Dinant, in the Walloon region of Belgium.
The ‘Ardennes’, marked out by Turner at top left, is a territory of forests, hills and mountains which begins around France’s frontier with Belgium and stretches east across Luxembourg and Germany. Givet, underlined by Turner in red ink, is the home of the mighty Fort Charlemont, a citadel built by Charles V in the sixteenth century to defend the Meuse valley.1 Turner’s inscriptions ‘Charlemont’ and ‘St Hilaire’, then, account for this fortress and the equally austere and fortress-like Eglise Saint-Hilaire on the left bank of the Meuse.2 It is also likely that the small sketch of a fort at top right shows Charlemont. Drawings of Givet and its monuments are found in both this, the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook and the Huy and Dinant sketchbook (Tate D19664–D19971, D20114; Turner Bequest CCXVI 57a–61, CCXVII 20).
Surrounding Givet, the towns of Rancennes (‘Ransenne’), Beauraing (‘Beauring’), and Heer (‘Her’) are noted; and, moving towards Dinant, Turner marks out the villages of Freÿr (‘Frayer’), ‘Onhaye’, Pont à Lesse (‘P Lesse’) and ‘Walzin’.
With the sketchbook orientated in accordance with the foliation, Turner has made note of the distance between Verdun, in France, to Dinant; his inscription reads: ‘From V. to Dinant with all its windings 193 miles’.

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2014

‘Givet’, Fortified Places, accessed 29 January 2014,
‘Restauration du Christ d’A. Rivoulon de ‘léglise Saint-Hilaire de Givet (Ardennes), DRAC Champagne-Ardennes, accessed 29 January 2014,

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