Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bernkastel and the Landshut, Looking Upstream; Bernkastel and the Landshut, Looking Upstream, with St Nicholas’s Hospital, Kues


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 78 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 105 a

Catalogue entry

This series of cursory sketches depicts Bernkastel, overlooked by the ruined Burg Landshut on a crest of the Hunsrück mountain range. Each view includes the soaring, tapering steeple of St Michael’s Church, located close to the river’s edge (see also Tate D19757; Turner Bequest CCXVI 104a).
In the middle sketch, at right, Turner pictures the Hospital of St Nicholas at Kues, and the artist has annotated the drawing accordingly with the inscriptions: ‘Hospital Caus’ and ‘Cause’. Kues’ most celebrated native is Nicholas of Cusa: a philosopher and theologian who founded the hospital in the mid-fifteenth century to care for a group of thirty-three invalids, supposedly a man for each year of Christ’s life.1 The building was modelled on late Gothic monastic architecture and still stands today, offering accommodation and care to the elderly.
For further drawings of Bernkastel, the Burg Landshut and Kues see D19758, D19760, D20176–D20182, D28312–D28313, D28406–D28412; Turner Bequest CCXVI 105, 106, CCXIX 15–21, CCLXXXIX 11a–12, CCXC 28a–31a. See also the highly finished watercolour of Bernkastel on the Mosel (c.1830), developed from Turner’s 1824 sketches of this town and its castle.2

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2014

‘Nicholas of Cusa’, Ferienland Bernkastel-Kues, accessed 30 April 2014, and Michael Joseph Quin, Steam Voyages on the Seine, the Moselle, & the Rhine, etc., London 1843, p.318.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.465 no.1378; reproduced in colour in Powell 1995, p.108.

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