Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Roman Bridge at Trier Looking up the Moselle; Sedan; Sedan from the North-East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 101 × 168 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 19

Catalogue entry

The principal sketch shows the Roman Bridge at Trier (Trèves), an ancient structure which dates from the second century A.D.1 Rowing boats and other light craft are pictured moored at the banks of the Moselle, their hulls suggested in curved strokes of the pencil. There is a diminutive detail of the bridge sketched at the top right, surrounding trees described with hatches and coiled lines. Turner has inscribed the number ‘7’ and what appears to be the word ‘eqal’ [equal] beside it which could signify its seven equal arches.
For further depictions of Trier in this sketchbook see Tate D28186, D28206, D28207, D28244, D28246, D28249, D28250, D28256, D28258–D28260, D28263, D28264; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 10a, 20a, 21, 42a, 43a, 45a, 46, 50, 51–52, 54a, 55). The city is also depicted in earlier sketchbooks associated with Turner’s 1824 tour of the region; see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook (Tate D19725, D19726, D19728–D19730, D19732–D19743; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 88a, 89, 90–91, 92–97a; the Huy and Dinant sketchbook (Tate D20091, D20111, D20115; Turner Bequest CCXVII 5, 17a, 21; the Trèves and Rhine sketchbook (Tate D20141, D20142, D20145, D20146, D20148, D20149–D20154; Turner Bequest CCXVIII 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11–16. See also two gouache and watercolour drawings of the city: one of the Porta Nigra (Tate D20230; Turner Bequest CCXX W) and the other of Trier from the west (Tate D24715; Turner Bequest CCLIX 150).
Two sketches of Sedan on the folio opposite (Tate D28202; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 18a) continue onto this page.

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

Colin O’Connor, Roman Bridges, Cambridge 1993, p.141.

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