Joseph Mallord William Turner

Trier from across the Moselle near the White House; The River, Walls and Towers of Trier with its Crane and Bridge, Looking up the Moselle; Trier


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 168 × 101 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 55

Catalogue entry

This panoramic sketch, running across the upper register and continuing on the folio opposite (Tate D28263; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 54a), depicts Trier from Pallien near the White House, a building also seen on folio 49 verso (Tate D28255; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 49 a). Below is a further sketch of the ancient city which similarly extends onto the folio opposite. In it, Turner pictures the Moselle surrounded at either side by a number of towered buildings, fortified walls, cranes and the bridge.
The sketches on the lower register have been drawn with the book turned upside down and continue onto the opposite folio. The penultimate drawing from rear depicts the bridge at Trier, the number of its arches recorded by Turner in the inscribed figure ‘8’. Beyond the bridge can be seen a mill, fortified walls, and the city itself with its panoply of ecclesiastical and historical buildings. The content of the final sketch is rather less decipherable; the loose scalloped lines probably represent trees or foliage beyond which is a ditch and what appears to be a fortified wall and gatehouse on the opposite folio.

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

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