Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand’Place at Huy with People at a Fountain


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 34

Catalogue entry

This roughly wrought sketch appears to be a representation of the Town Square or Grand’Place at Huy. Turner has pictured the Town Hall or Hôtel de Ville (inscribed as such by the artist) with the city’s monumental civic fountain in front of it. The fountain, colloquially referred to as Li Bassinia, constitutes one of the four ‘wonders’ of Huy, the remaining three being: Li Pontia (the bridge traversing the Meuse River), the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, and Li Tchestia (the citadel built under the Dutch occupation in 1818).1 There are two further inscriptions at the bottom of the page: one close to the fountain and the other towards the right where the word ‘Pays Bas’ (The Low Countries) is decipherable.
For depictions of these sights and for other views of Huy in this sketchbook see Tate D28043, D28048, D28053, D28057, D28067, D28096, D28131–D28137, D28139–D28143, D28147, D28149; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 1a, 4, 6a, 8a, 13a, 28a, 47a–50a, 51a–53a, 56a, 57a. There are also a number of colour sketches in gouache with watercolour and pen and ink produced on blue paper dated around 1839 (Tate D20221, D20222, D20226, D20268, D20288; Turner Bequest CCXX N, O, S; CCXXII I, CCXXIII C).
For earlier views of Huy see the 1824 Huy and Dinant sketchbook (Tate D20087–D20093, D20109–D20110; Turner Bequest CCXVII 2a–6a, 16–7); the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of the same date (Tate D19622–D19635; Turner Bequest CCXVI 36–43) and the Brussels up to Mannheim sketchbook of 1833 (Tate D29653, D29656–D29659, D29661–D29662, D29768, D29771; Turner Bequest 29, 30a–32, 33–33a, 90, 91a).

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2013

‘Les Quatre Merveilles’, Découvrir Huy,, accessed 30 April 2013.

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