J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Bruges 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 270 Recto:
Bruges 1824
D20066
Turner Bequest CCXVI 263
Pencil on white wove paper, 78 x 118 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘De Van Waw’ bottom centre towards right
Watermark ‘[smith &] allnut | [18]22’
Inscribed in blue ink by Ruskin ‘263’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CCXVI–263’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This previously unidentified view was almost certainly taken at the Belgian city of Bruges, which Turner visited on his journey from Ghent to Ostend between 6 and 7 September. The Minnewater lake is depicted on the folio opposite (Tate D20065; Turner Bequest CCXVI 262a) and on Tate D19887–D19888; Turner Bequest CCXVI 168–168a in this sketchbook. A similar cylindrical tower with conical roof appears in both drawings: perhaps a medieval water tower. Figures are shown walking by the banks of the canal. To the left of the tower the top of a building with a traditional crow-stepped gable comes into view. There is also an inscription reading ‘De Van Waw’ at bottom centre. This does not translate directly into Flemish. Turner may be incorrectly transcribing a name here, perhaps attempting to render ‘Van Der Waw’ or ‘Walle’, for example. The word ‘Waw’ may also be an incorrect spelling of ‘Wal’ (‘Wallen’ in plural) which means ‘quay’ in Flemish. This could be a reference to some canal-side location in Bruges.1
For other drawings of Bruges see Tate D12705–D12713, D19268, D19272–D19278; Turner Bequest CLX 2v–7a, CCXIV 216, 218–221.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

1
Information from correspondence with Chris De Backer, Ghent

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Bruges 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-bruges-r1174861, accessed 18 July 2019.