Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Paul’s Cathedral and the Citadel at Liège, Seen from the Quai Looking Downstream to the Pont de la Boverie


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 94 × 154 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 14

Catalogue entry

This is a view of Liège taken from a quay on the Meuse looking downstream towards the Boverie Bridge. In another drawing of the city in this sketchbook, Turner’s focus is the ancient Pont des Arches (Tate D28066; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 13). The sketch is rendered in fine and crisp pencil markings, incorporating the spired tower of St Paul’s Cathedral at left and the defence fort or citadel atop the heights in the distance. Much of the cathedral had been destroyed during the French Revolution and through the years that followed. Rebuilding and restoration began in 1812 on the instruction of Napoléon Bonaparte who ordered that the tower be raised a storey and a belfry be installed.1
For other drawings of Liège in this sketchbook see the following folios: Tate D28070–D28074, D28076; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 15–17, 18. For Turner’s earlier views of the city see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19598, D19636–D19638, D20061–D20064; Turner Bequest CCXVI 24, 43a–44a, 260a–262); the Huy and Dinant sketchbook of the same date (Tate D20084, D20095–D20103; Turner Bequest CCXVII 1, 8–12); the Holland, Meuse and Cologne sketchbook of 1825 (Tate D19446–D19447, D19520–D19521; Turner Bequest CCXV 25a–26, 71a–72); and the Holland sketchbook of the same date (Tate D19160; Turner Bequest CCXIV 162). There are also drawings of Liège in the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim–Rhine sketchbook (Tate D29669–D29670, D29673; Turner Bequest CCXCVI 37a–38, 39a). For colour studies of the city in gouache, pen and ink and watercolour see Tate D24664, D20283; Turner Bequest CCLIX 99, CCXXII X.

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2013

A. Beauduin (Doyen de Chapitre), ‘Cathedrale, Histoire et Sens’, Cathedral de Liège,, accessed 22 April 2013.

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