Joseph Mallord William Turner

Spa from the Liège Road


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Support: 140 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCII 66

Display caption

Spa, situated in a dip in the Belgian Ardennes some twenty miles south-east of Liège, is the oldest watering-place in Europe, but it has been popular also for its social attractions and the natural beauty of its situation. No.115 shows the main mineral spring in the town centre (housed in a building commemorating the visit of Peter the Great in 1717). Nos.116 and 117 show springs situated in the surrounding woods. The 'Promenade de Sept-Heures' (nos.118-119) was laid out in the eighteenth century for the diversion of Spa's aristocratic visitors who would relax here after supper. By Turner's day, the elms provided luxuriant shade and a band played nearby.

Gallery label, September 1991

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