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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Three Distant Views of Thionville 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 29 Verso:
Three Distant Views of Thionville 1839
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 29 a
Pencil on cream laid writing paper, 101 x 168 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘B[...]’ | ‘Ferry’, ‘Moselle’ at top left; inverted: ‘Cm’ towards top left, ‘[...]’, ‘wall’, ‘[...]’ towards top right; ‘C[...] of [...]’ top left; ‘1’, ‘R[...]’, ‘3’, ‘[...]’ running above gutter of sketchbook from centre to top right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
These are three panoramic sketches of Thionville, a French city on the banks of the Moselle which lies approximately fifteen miles from the border with Luxembourg. The sketch closest to the long outer edge of the page depicts a ferry service running on the Moselle, Turner inscribing the word ‘Ferry’ and that river’s name to the left of the drawing. This boat is also featured on the folio opposite (Tate D28225; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 30). The central sketch shows a bridge and Thionville beyond, the terrain pastoral and gently sloping. The final sketch has been drawn inversely to the others, parallel to the gutter of the book. Thionville is pictured at quite a distance within the surrounding countryside and near to a walled boundary. Two monuments reappear in each drawing: the twin towered eighteenth-century Church of Saint-Maximin and the bell-tower of the sixteenth-century town hall.
For other views of Thionville in this sketchbook see Tate D28225, D28237; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVIII 30, 37; see also the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19710; Turner Bequest CCXVI 81).

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Three Distant Views of Thionville 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-three-distant-views-of-thionville-r1150501, accessed 18 September 2021.