View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
T01022 The Falls of the Rhine at Schaffhausen c.1841–4
Pen and red ink, pencil, grey wash and scratching out on paper prepared with a grey wash, 9¿ x 11¿ (23.25 x 29.5).
Presented by the National Art-Collections Fund from the Herbert Powell Bequest 1968.
Coll: ? H B Brabazon by 1902;...; Herbert Powell, entrusted to the N.A.C.F. 1929.
Exh: see Atkins T00964.
Lit: Sir Walter Armstrong, Turner, 1902, p. 276.
Repr: Illustrated London News, 27 April 1968, p. 35.
This is a page from a sketchbook, with an additional ¿ inch wide strip from the adjoining page to the left and three stitch holes. What appear to be two companion pages, showing the Falls from further up river and with rainbows, were exhibited at Agnew’s, November to December 1967 (71 and 72; formerly Sir Donald Curie collection; lent anonymously and by D J Molteno respectively). These were dated c. 1835 in the Agnew’s catalogue but this seems considerably too early: the use of red ink to define the forms and to suggest detail, though found in the 1830s, is here used to an extent only paralleled in the 1840s. Of three further views of the Falls in the National Gallery of Scotland, similar in being painted over a general preparation in grey wash though somewhat more heavily treated, one is dated 1841. Although Turner had visited Switzerland previously no. T01022 must therefore date from one of the annual visits he made from 1841 to 1844, probably the first.
Turner exhibited a large oil painting of the same subject, seen from the other side of the river, at the Royal Academy in 1806 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; repr. John Rothenstein and Martin Butlin, Turner, 1964, pl. 30) and there are related drawings in the ‘Fonthill’ sketchbook in the British Museum (Turner Bequest XLVII, pp. 29, 31, etc. ). These were done during Turner’s first visit to Switzerland in 1802, when he also produced some large finished drawings of the Falls in pencil and white chalk on paper prepared in grey (Turner Bequest LXXIX-A, B, C, D and E).
A pen and wash drawing of the Falls, probably prepared for the Liber Studiorum but never engraved, was bequeathed by Henry Vaughan to the British Museum (CXVIII-Z). A finished watercolour in the City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, was engraved for the Keepsake in 1833. There are a number of other watercolours of the Falls dating from the 1840s but less closely related to no. T01022 than those mentioned above. They include three in the British Museum (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV – 218, 233 and 287), one in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and one in the collection of Mr Kurt Pantzer, Indianapolis (repr. exh. cat.. Turner in Indiana, Art Gallery, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, February 1963, p. 55 no. 52).
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1967–1968, London 1968.