Joseph Mallord William Turner

Trier from the West, Looking up the Moselle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 220 × 291 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVIII 15

Catalogue entry

Carefully wrought in parts and summarily rendered in others, this study of Trier was taken by Turner on the west bank of the Moselle as he looked up the river towards the Roman bridge. The east bank is sharply delineated, its buildings represented in crisp definition and highlighted with brief hatches of chalk. Visible is the Martinskloster, St Mattias’s Abbey and the cruciform shape of the ancient harbour crane (Der Alte Krahnen). Beyond, in linear profile, is the Church of St Gangolf, the cathedral and Liebfrauenkirche. Tall trees at the river’s edge form a repoussoir; one tree shaded in loosely scalloped hatching and the others left bare, with mere cursory suggestions of their branches and heavy-hanging foliage. Turner has included a figure manoeuvering a cart at bottom centre: a token of daily life and labour on the banks of the River Moselle.
For similar views see Tate D19725, D19729; Turner Bequest CCXVI 88a, 90a.

Alice Rylance-Watson
December 2013

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