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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Roman Bridge at Trier Looking up the Moselle; Sedan; Sedan from the North-East 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 19 Recto:
The Roman Bridge at Trier Looking up the Moselle; Sedan; Sedan from the North-East 1839
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 19
Pencil on cream laid writing paper, 101 x 168 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘7 [?eqal]’ at top right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘19’ bottom right
Stamped in black ink ‘CCLXXXVIII–19’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The principal sketch shows the Roman Bridge at Trier (Trèves), an ancient structure which dates from the second century A.D.1 Rowing boats and other light craft are pictured moored at the banks of the Moselle, their hulls suggested in curved strokes of the pencil. There is a diminutive detail of the bridge sketched at the top right, surrounding trees described with hatches and coiled lines. Turner has inscribed the number ‘7’ and what appears to be the word ‘eqal’ [equal] beside it which could signify its seven equal arches.
For further depictions of Trier in this sketchbook see Tate D28186, D28206, D28207, D28244, D28246, D28249, D28250, D28256, D28258–D28260, D28263, D28264; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 10a, 20a, 21, 42a, 43a, 45a, 46, 50, 51–52, 54a, 55). The city is also depicted in earlier sketchbooks associated with Turner’s 1824 tour of the region; see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook (Tate D19725, D19726, D19728–D19730, D19732–D19743; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 88a, 89, 90–91, 92–97a; the Huy and Dinant sketchbook (Tate D20091, D20111, D20115; Turner Bequest CCXVII 5, 17a, 21; the Trèves and Rhine sketchbook (Tate D20141, D20142, D20145, D20146, D20148, D20149–D20154; Turner Bequest CCXVIII 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11–16. See also two gouache and watercolour drawings of the city: one of the Porta Nigra (Tate D20230; Turner Bequest CCXX W) and the other of Trier from the west (Tate D24715; Turner Bequest CCLIX 150).
Two sketches of Sedan on the folio opposite (Tate D28202; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 18a) continue onto this page.

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

Colin O’Connor, Roman Bridges, Cambridge 1993, p.141.

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘The Roman Bridge at Trier Looking up the Moselle; Sedan; Sedan from the North-East 1839 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-roman-bridge-at-trier-looking-up-the-moselle-sedan-sedan-r1150480, accessed 24 July 2019.