Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Minnewater, Bruges


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 262 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg is almost certainly correct when he proposes that his picturesque view of a medieval tower and lake was taken at Bruges in Belgium. Turner visited the city on his journey from Ghent to Ostend between 6 and 7 September 1824. The location looks to be the Minnewater, a canalised lake which the artist recorded on Tate D19887–D19888; Turner Bequest CCXVI 168–168a. Both the present drawing and CCXVI 168a are connected by the inscription ‘Swan’, written at the right side of each leaf in turn. These elegant birds, historic inhabitants of Minnewater Lake, are one of the symbols of the city and Turner pictures a few of them gliding across crystalline waters at bottom right. Bruges is shown again on the folio opposite: Tate D20066; Turner Bequest CCXVI 263. See also Tate D12705–D12713, D19268, D19272–D19278; Turner Bequest CLX 2v–7a, CCXIV 216, 218–221.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

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