Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bernkastel and the Landshut, Looking Downstream; Bernkastel and the Landshut, with Kues Opposite, Looking Upstream; River and Village


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 11 a

Catalogue entry

This series of sketches depicts the villages of Bernkastel and Kues which lie on opposite sides of the Moselle to each other south of Traben-Trarbach. In each of the drawings the Castle Landshut looms over the villages from upon high, and below, at Bernkastel, the Gothic Church of Saint Michael with its celebrated turreted spire can be seen. The Burg Landshut is believed to have been erected as early as the fourth century, with a new castle built near these foundations in the thirteenth under the lordship of the Archbishop of Trier, Heinrich II von Vinstingen. It was destroyed by in a fire in 1692 and has lain in ruin ever since. 1
For other views of Bernkastel and the Landshut in this sketchbook see Tate D28313; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 12; see also the Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook of 1839 (Tate D28406–D28412; Turner Bequest CCXC 28a–31a). For earlier drawings see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19757–D19760; Turner Bequest CCXVI 104–106) and the Moselle (or Rhine) sketchbook of the same date (Tate D20176–D20182, D20192; Turner Bequest CCXIX 15–21, 31).
Inversely orientated to the previous views is a slight jotting of a village on the Moselle; Turner has inscribed what appears to read ‘Leekster’ beneath it. The artist may have been recording the village of ‘Lieser’ which neighbours Bernkastel-Kues.

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

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