Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bridge of Meulan


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 142 × 193 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 116

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There has been some uncertainty about the identity of the place depicted in this view, not least because Turner was himself confused about its name. On the back of the sheet he recorded it as 'Medan', but this was corrected to the present title when the image was engraved. It is an unusual presentation of Meulan, taken from the opposite side of the river to the town itself, so that for the most part its buildings are screened by the island in the middle of the Seine. In comparison with the apparently effortless means of steam transport on the lower part of the Seine, Turner here reveals the exertions of man and beast in more traditional means of moving produce upstream.

Gallery label, August 2004

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