Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bornhofen, below Burg Sterrenberg and Burg Liebenstein (the ‘Hostile Brothers’), on the River Rhine


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIII 42 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 it shows the church spire at Bornhofen, with Burg Sterrenberg and (to its right) Burg Liebenstein, known as the ‘Feindlichen Brüder’ (‘Hostile Brothers’), barely a hundred metres apart and both since partly restored, high on the east bank of the Rhine upriver to the south-east.
Powell has noted that Turner neared the end of this tour following ‘the familiar route of the Rhine between Mainz and Cologne. He almost certainly travelled by steamer, ... sketching most of the well-known sights perfunctorily as he passed.’2 Given that this sketchbook was used in reverse of its subsequent foliation, she has specified the overall range of this phase as ‘TB CCCIII 68v–20v; 11r’,3 indicating folios 12 recto and 21 verso–69 verso (D30479, D30497–D30592; Turner Bequest CCCIII 20a–68a); see this book’s Introduction for the full itinerary of this part of the journey.
The castles are also shown on folios 44 recto–46 recto (D30542–D30546; CCCIII 43–45). For other views, see the 1817 Waterloo and Rhine sketchbook (Tate D12814–D12815, D12883; Turner Bequest CLX 58a, 59, 93a), the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine sketchbook (D29683, D29707–D29708; CCXCVI 45, 57a, 58), and the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (D28511, D28513–D28515; CCXC 80, 81, 81a, 82a).
Similarly, Bornhofen is indicated on folios 44 recto–45 verso (D30542–D30545; CCCIII 43–44a). See also the Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine books (D12815, D12840–D12841, D12850; CLX 59, 71a, 72, 76a; D12967–D12968; CLXI 45a, 46), the Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine and Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence pages noted above, and the 1844 Ostend, Rhine and Berne sketchbook (D33064; CCCXXVII 14a)

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, p.246.
Ibid., p.72.
Ibid., p.82 note 70.

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