Joseph Mallord William Turner

Alken and Burg Thurandt, Looking Downstream; Alken and Burg Thurandt, Looking Downstream from closer to the Town; The Leyen Burg at Gondorf


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 235 × 140 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 8

Catalogue entry

These three slight sketches show the town of Alken, situated on the Moselle south of Kobern-Gondorf. The Burg Thurandt presides over Alken from a vertiginous mount to the right. Partly built on Roman foundations, the castle was constructed for the brother of King Otto IV in 1197 to mark his return from the Crusades; in the twelfth century ownership was passed on to the Archbishops of Trier.1 The sketch at centre depicts the town of Gondorf and the Schloss von der Leyen, the ancient residence of the noble family of Leyen.2
For other views of Alken and the Burg Thurandt see Tate D28307; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 9; the Cochem to Coblenz – Home sketchbook belonging to the 1839 tour (Tate D28371–D28377; Turner Bequest CCXCI 18–21) and the earlier Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19806–D19809; Turner Bequest CCXVI 128–129a). See also the watercolour and gouache drawings of Alken and Thurandt produced between 1839 and 1840 (Tate D28949, D29023; Turner Bequest CCXCII 2, 72).

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

‘Geschichte’, Burg Thurant,, accessed 9 August 2013.
‘Schloss von der Leyen’, Kobern-Gondorf,, accessed 9 August 2013.

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