Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Ruins of the Imperial Baths at Trier, with the Tower of St Gangol’s Church in the Distance


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 10 a

Catalogue entry

With swift, abbreviated strokes and dashes of pencil, here Turner suggests the arched structure of the ruins of the Roman baths at Trier (Trèves) . The profile of the fifteenth-century Church of St Gangolf with its lofty four-storey steeple can be seen in the background.1 The ancient city lies on the banks of the Moselle in Germany’s province of Rhineland-Palatinate, close to the border with Luxembourg. There is similar sketch of the imperial baths on folio 44 recto (Tate D28247; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 44).
For further depictions of Trier in this sketchbook see Tate D28203, D28206, D28207, D28244, D28246, D28249, D28250, D28256, D28258–D28260, D28263, D28264; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 19, 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).

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

‘St Gangolf’, Tourist Information Trier,, accessed 21 May 2013.

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