Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Landing Stage at Bonn with the Seven Hills in the Background


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 x 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 145 a

Catalogue entry

This swiftly executed sketch records a lively scene at a landing stage on the Rhine front at Bonn (see also Tate D19842; Turner Bequest CCXVI 146). Figures can be seen loading or unloading bundles and other cargo from a river barge by means of a long ramp, leading them to the quayside where a small group of locals stand. According to Alois Schreiber, in his 1824 guidebook of the Rhine region, Bonn’s chief manufacture and trade was in cottons, linens and silks: perhaps some of the parcels seen in Turner’s sketch contain such items, ready to be exported to cities across Germany and beyond.1 The Siebengebirge or ‘Seven Hills’ can be seen in the distance. This is an upland range to the south-east of Bonn consisting of more than forty hills, though seven of them, including the Petersberg and the Drachenfels, are most prominent. At top right Turner has produced a small jotting of buildings at Bonn, one of which appears to be a city gate.
For Turner’s 1817 sketches of the landing stage at Bonn, see Tate D12750–D12751, D12768, D12870; Turner Bequest CLX 26a–27, 85a, 86a.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

Alois Wilhelm Schreiber, The Traveller’s Guide down the Rhine, Paris 1825, pp.237–8.

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like