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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View up the Meuse towards Dinant (Left) and Bouvignes and the Castle of Crèvecoeur (Right); Distant View of Louvain; Detail of a Fort 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 9 Recto:
View up the Meuse towards Dinant (Left) and Bouvignes and the Castle of Crèvecoeur (Right); Distant View of Louvain; Detail of a Fort 1839
D28058
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 9
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 94 x 154 mm
Watermarked ‘[Fe]llows’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Beauvill up [to] Dinant’ top right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘350’ bottom right and ‘9’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXXVII–9’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Despite Turner’s inscribing this sketch ‘Bauvill up [to] Dinant’, it is likely, as Alexander Finberg notes, that the artist was actually referring to the town of Bouvignes-sur-Meuse, a few kilometres downstream from Dinant.1
With the sketchbook turned horizontally Turner has drawn a profile of the town of Dinant nestled in the Meuse valley from upstream near Bouvignes. Dinant is identifiable by the onion-shaped dome and lantern of the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, diminutive in the distance on the left. The ruins of the medieval Castle of Crèvecoeur at Bouvignes is to the right of Dinant in the foreground and extends onto folio 8 verso opposite (Tate D28057; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 8 a). There is a gouache and watercolour drawing of a similar prospect taken from a closer perspective at sunset (Tate D20228; Turner Bequest CCXX U). For other views of Dinant and neighbouring Bouvignes in this sketchbook see Tate D28094, D28138–D28139, D28158, D28161; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 27a, 51, 51a, 62a, 64; see also the verso of folio 52 in the earlier Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19654; Turner Bequest CCXVI 52a).
Below the sketch of Dinant, on the central register, is a view of what Cecilia Powell identifies as Louvain. Though the handling is rough, Turner appears to have suggested the outline of the spire of the Church of St Quentin on the left and the Gothic Town Hall and the Church of St Peter towards the right.
The last sketch, a detail of a fort, has been taken with the sketchbook inverted relative to the foliation. Turner depicts a citadel high on a rocky promontory, perhaps the fortress at Dinant which crowns the monolith Roche à Bayard.

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2013

1
Finberg 1909, vol.II, p.916.

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘View up the Meuse towards Dinant (Left) and Bouvignes and the Castle of Crèvecoeur (Right); Distant View of Louvain; Detail of a Fort 1839 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 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-view-up-the-meuse-towards-dinant-left-and-bouvignes-and-the-r1150332, accessed 19 June 2021.