Joseph Mallord William Turner Heidelberg: Large Colour Study c.1841

Artwork details

Heidelberg: Large Colour Study
Date c.1841
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 486 x 693 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXV 34
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This working study of the German town of Heidelberg seems to have been made in connection with two large finished watercolours. All three designs share roughly the same viewpoint. Heidelberg’s eighteenth-century bridge and extensive ruined castle were popular tourist sights, and this view of the city was the one conventionally adopted by painters.

One of the finished watercolours was engraved by Thomas Abel Prior, who said that Turner was working from one of his own sketches. The relatively conventional composition and rather cautious technique would suggest this could be true.

August 2004

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