Alexander Benois

Limburg on the Lahn


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Alexander Benois 1870–1960
Original title
Limburg an der Lahn
Watercolour on paper
Support: 359 × 260 mm
Transferred from the Library 1964

Catalogue entry

Alexander Benois 1870-1960

T00652 Limburg an der Lahn 1894

Inscribed 'Limburg an der Lahn | September 1894 | Alexander Benois.' b.r.
Watercolour on paper, 14 1/8 x 10 1/4 (36 x 26)
Bequeathed by Peter Provatoroff 1964
Prov: Peter Provatoroff, London (purchased from the artist in Paris through M.V. Braikevich c.1932-3)

Painted by the artist during his honeymoon in 1894, when he visited Germany, Switzerland and Italy. According to the list of the artist's works in the monograph by Sergei Ernst published in St Petersburg in 1921, he painted a number of studies during his travels abroad in 1894 (when he first began working directly from nature). The artist's daughter Mme Anna Tcherkessoff wrote (letter, 5 May 1964) that her parents had stayed for some time in Wiesbaden where Mme Benois was taking a cure for an attack of rheumatism. Her father had written a detailed account of his travels in the fourth part of his memoirs, but this passage was omitted in the English translation of 1964: 'We spent a whole day from early morning to late evening in carrying out our old dream of making a pilgrimage to Limburg an der Lahn. I had long been familiar with the celebrated view of the apse of the Cathedral from photographs and engravings and I always wanted to see this unique beauty spot. But on approaching Limburg the view we saw surpassed all our expectations and I decided to make a detailed drawing on the spot in order to be able to render this unrivalled romantic monument afterwards in pictures of considerable size. Later in Petersburg and in Paris I tried three times to tackle this subject, but none of these versions have satisfied me. I gave the most finished of these to Princess Tenisheva and she presented it with her collection to the Alexander III Museum'. This is now the National Russian Museum, Leningrad. The watercolour referred to is larger than T00652, the view is seen from a different angle and shows some houses at the edge of the water.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.49, reproduced p.49

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