Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Citadel, Pont des Arches and St Bartholemew’s Church, Liège, Looking Downstream from the Quai sur Meuse


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 13

Catalogue entry

In this detailed sketch Turner has represented the Wallonian city of Liège, Belgium. The city is situated in the valley of the Meuse River which Turner depicts from a local quay. The view takes in a number of landmarks including the fortified citadel atop the heights which was reconstructed by the Dutch in 1816 following the Napoleonic Wars; the historic Pont des Arches (bridge of arches); and the medieval Collegiate Church of St Bartholemew with its pointed twin towers at the right. The church is typical of the so-called Meuse-Romanesque style of architecture.
Signs of local life and transit are apparent: curved, swift strokes of the pencil mark out rowing boats at the river’s edge and figures jotted in to people the foreground.
For other drawings of Liège in this sketchbook see the following folios: Tate D28068, D28070–D28074, D28076; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 14, 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

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop