Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Ruins of the Imperial Baths, Trier

1839

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 101 x 168 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28247
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 44

Catalogue entry

Roughly wrought in swift and summary line, here Turner has depicted the ruins of a complex of Roman public baths at Trier. Dating back to the fourth century AD, Turner has suggested the pitted contours of its peripheral walls and network of arches.
Other views of Trier in this sketchbook include Tate D28186, D28206, D28207, D28244, D28246, D28249, D28250, D28255, D28256, D28258–D28260, D28263, D28264; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 10a, 20a, 21, 42a, 43a, 45a, 46, 49a, 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).
Technical notes:
There is a brown stain at the centre left of the page, close to the gutter of the sketchbook. It has transferred onto the corresponding area of the folio opposite (Tate D28246; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 43a).

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

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