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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Pallien and the Napoleonsbrücke from the River Bank at Trier, Looking up the Moselle 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 7 Recto:
Pallien and the Napoleonsbrücke from the River Bank at Trier, Looking up the Moselle 1824
Turner Bequest CCXVIII 7
Watercolour, pencil and chalk on white wove paper, 220 x 291 mm
Inscribed in red ink by Ruskin ‘7’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXVIII–7’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The village of Pallien, seen here at right, is ‘nestled most picturesquely’, Bartholomew Stritch writes, ‘at the foot of an enormous rock at the entrance of a deep valley’.1 A trip across the Moselle to Pallien was a detour recommended by almost all contemporary guidebooks, affording visitors an excellent vantage point from which to view, and Turner to sketch, the city of Trier. The beauty of Pallien also clearly merited recording, as it is shown here in delicate pencil line and fine chalk highlights.
A bridge at the river’s edge is seen reflected in the waters, and directly above it, just to the right of the Church of Saints Simon and Jude straddling two cliffs, is another bridge, the Napoleonsbrücke. Constructed by the French Emperor to link Trier to Aachen, the bridge is seen more clearly in Tate D20146; Turner Bequest CCXVIII 8 and in a gouache and watercolour drawing of 1839 (Tate D24741; Turner Bequest CCLIX 176). The Church of Saints Simon and Jude, noted for its striking onion cupola, is shown at a closer proximity in the 1824 Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook (Tate D19727, D19730; Turner Bequest CCXVI 89a, 91). These views are similar to a lithograph by J.A. Ramboux (1790–1866), depicting the church and valley from the Napoleonsbrücke (Art Institute Chicago, Illinois).2
Bartholomew Stritch, The Meuse, the Moselle, and the Rhine; or, A six weeks' tour through the finest river scenery in Europe, by B.S., London 1845, p.46.
Johann Anton Albon Ramboux, View of the Mosel Valley below Trier with the Rocks of Pallien in the Foreground, 1824/27, http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/159356

Alice Rylance-Watson
December 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Pallien and the Napoleonsbrücke from the River Bank at Trier, Looking up the Moselle 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2013, 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-pallien-and-the-napoleonsbrucke-from-the-river-bank-at-trier-r1174883, accessed 28 February 2021.