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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Views of Poilvache 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 52 Recto:
Views of Poilvache 1824
Turner Bequest CCXVI 52
Pencil on white wove paper, 118 x 78 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Polvache’ top left; ‘Road’, ‘Mus’, ‘V’, ‘Hahu’ left to right centre towards top; ‘Polvach Castle’ far left parallel to gutter of sketchbook
Inscribed in blue ink by Ruskin ‘52’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CCXVI–52’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
These drawings of the ruined medieval fortress of Poilvache are a continuation of those on the folio opposite (Tate D19652; Turner Bequest CCXVI 51a). In the uppermost view Turner shows the tiny village of Houx (inscribed as ‘Hahu’), dwarfed at the foot of a vertiginous cliff atop which the castle stands. As the Victorian author and journalist Dudley Costello writes, Poilvache ‘hangs nearly perpendicularly’ over Houx, the village in turn overlooking the Meuse (labelled as ‘Mus’ in Turner’s sketch).1 Various other drawings of the castle fill the page, some diminutive and squared off, others showing the full extent of the ruin’s vast scale.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2014

Dudley Costello, A Tour through the Valley of the Meuse, London 1846, p.255.

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Views of Poilvache 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 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-views-of-poilvache-r1174441, accessed 22 April 2021.