Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Mosel Bridge at Coblenz: Sample Study


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 236 × 295 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 286

Display caption

This work is similar to some of
the preliminary studies that Turner prepared as the basis for more elaborate watercolours in the early 1840s. Two
of the finished Swiss watercolours he painted were views of Zurich. Both
show the city in festive mood, its
streets crowded with revellers.


The mood here is much more tranquil and nocturnal, focusing particularly on the huge luminous dial of St Peter's Church. By widening the true extent of the river, Turner makes the forms of the opposite bank appear to float in mid-air, much as he had done in his studies of Venice.


Gallery label, August 2004

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