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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Pont des Arches, Liège, Looking Upstream towards the Spire of the Cathedral from the Quai de la Batte 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 9 Recto:
The Pont des Arches, Liège, Looking Upstream towards the Spire of the Cathedral from the Quai de la Batte 1824
Turner Bequest CCXVII 9
Pencil on off-white wove paper, 99 x 162 mm
Inscribed in blue ink by Ruskin ‘9’ top right and ‘247’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXVII–9’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawing from a point near the Quai de la Batte, Turner records a detailed view of Liège looking towards the ancient Pont des Arches. The drawing is continued on the folio opposite (Tate D20096; Turner Bequest CCXVII 8 a). The spired bell tower of St Paul’s Cathedral is seen at right, and in the foreground boats and barges are moored at the banks of the Meuse. Another of Liège’s celebrated churches, this one dedicated to Saint Martin and constructed in the Mosan Gothic style, is included and shown directly above the central arch of the bridge. Owing to its hilltop location on the Mont-Saint-Martin, the tower of Saint Martin rises loftily above the rooftops of the city. The church is depicted again in Turner’s 1825 panoramic survey of the churches of Liège (Tate D19446–D19447; Turner Bequest CCXV 25a–26) and in an engraving by R. Brice after a drawing by Fussell published in The Continental Tourist, and Pictorial Companion of 1833.1 There is also an undated pencil drawing of the Pont des Arches, as Turner would have seen it, by the Belgian printmaker Paul Lauter (1806–1875) and a corresponding lithograph in the collections of the Université de Liège.2
Turner pictured Liège in this and other sketchbooks belonging to the 1824 tour; drawings include: Tate D19598, D19636–D19638, D20061–D20064, D20098–D20103; Turner Bequest CCXVI 24, 43a–44a, 260a–262, CCXVII 9a–12. There are also later studies from the 1839 tour: Tate D28066, D28070–D28074, D28076; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 13, 15–17.

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2014

Engraving, R. Brice, ‘St Martin’s Church, Liège’, 1833, published Parry & Co. See also engraving by Shury & Son, ‘Cathedral, Liège’, 1833, published Parry & Co. These are available to view online at Ancestry Images, accessed 17 January 2014, http://www.ancestryimages.com/proddetail.php?prod=g3913 and < http://www.antiqueprints.com/proddetail.php?prod=g3911>
See ‘Dessins de Paul Lauters’, Collections artistiques de l'Université de Liège (Belgique)¿ Galerie Wittert, accessed 16 January 2014, http://www.wittert.ulg.ac.be/fr/flori/opera/lauters/lauters_dessins.html and for the lithograph of this drawing: http://www.wittert.ulg.ac.be/fr/flori/opera/lauters/lauters_lithos.html#arches

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘The Pont des Arches, Liège, Looking Upstream towards the Spire of the Cathedral from the Quai de la Batte 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 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-the-pont-des-arches-liege-looking-upstream-towards-the-spire-r1174292, accessed 19 August 2022.