Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Cochem

c.1839

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 141 x 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24723
Turner Bequest CCLIX 158

Catalogue entry

In this evocative drawing Turner shows the German town of Cochem at a distance. This gouache and one other (Tate D20238; Turner Bequest CCXXI E) record two successive visions of Cochem ‘seen by travellers leaving the town for Coblenz’.1 Where CCXXI E offers a more comprehensive view of the topography, here Turner’s interest is in recreating the fleeting effects of light and climatic atmosphere. It is, in this sense, a more impressionistic drawing. Turner captures to brilliant effect the fall of light on the surface of the river, the diffusion of light in cloud, and the shimmering glow of light radiating from the sun.
1
Powell 1995, p.136 no.56.
Technical notes:
There has been some fading and discolouration of the pigment and support due to exposure to sunlight following the picture’s exhibition.
Verso:
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCLIX 158’ at bottom right.

Alice Rylance-Watson
September 2013

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