Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Rhine Front at Koblenz, Looking Downstream towards the Bridge of Boats, with Boats and Figures

1824

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 78 x 118 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D19825
Turner Bequest CCXVI 137 a

Catalogue entry

Here Turner pictures a fleet of three riverboats, manned with crew and laden with cargo, navigating the Rhine towards a pontoon bridge at Koblenz. The artist leaves much of the page bare, drawing only a few waterfront buildings at left and a line of dashes in the middle distance to represent the bridge of boats. His primary focus is the vessels sailing the Rhine, the largest of which bears resemblance to the sort of passenger boats which plied up and down that river regularly, transporting locals and tourists alike (see Tate D28611; Turner Bequest CCXCI 38a). The two smaller craft tailing the barge appear to be carrying hefty freight covered with canopies.
More sketches of Koblenz can be found in this book on Tate D19818–D19824, D19826–D19830; Turner Bequest CCXVI 134–137, 138–140.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

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