Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Mouth of the Alf; Cliffs on the Moselle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXC 11 a

Display caption

Turner's second Meuse-Mosel tour has traditionally been dated to 1834, but a sketch in this book, showing a statue not erected until 1837, has led to its redating. Many of Turner's 1839 sketches later formed the basis of his coloured drawings on blue paper. The two exhibited here clearly depict the same scene as no.61: the village of Alf and, on a hill over the Alf valley, the ruins of the strategically placed Burg Arras. The sketches are little more than memoranda and the gouache study follows them with a degree of artistic licence, but the essential configurations of the landscape remain both constant and close to nature.

Gallery label, August 2004

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