Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Citadel and Pont des Arches, Liège, from a Boat on the Meuse, Looking Downstream, with the Twin Spires of St Bartholemew’s Church Visible above the Bridge


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 99 × 162 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVII 10

Catalogue entry

Turner took this intricate drawing of Liège from a riverboat on the Meuse, looking towards the Pont des Arches. The parade of quayside buildings is continued onto the folio opposite (Tate D20098; Turner Bequest CCXVII 9a), with a further detail of this architecture recorded at top right. Beyond the bridge, the Collegiate Church of St Bartholomew can be seen, identified by its twin towers and Rhenish Helm spires.1 Liège Citadel crowns the heights at left, overlooking the Meuse valley. A fortress has occupied this site since 1255, and was rebuilt by the French in the eighteenth century and during the Napoleonic Wars.2 The citadel is shown again on folio10 verso (Tate D20100; Turner Bequest CCXVII 10a).
There are colour notes at top left.
For more information on St Bartholomew’s Church, see ‘Présentation de la collégiale Saint-Barthélemy’, St Barthélemy, accessed 17 January 2014, English version
‘Liège’, Fortified Places, accessed 17 January 2014,
Technical notes:
The paper has mottled and browned significantly, a result of the drawing’s prolonged exhibition and exposure to sunlight during the nineteenth century.

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2014

Read full Catalogue entry

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