Joseph Mallord William Turner

Burg Ehrenfels, Bingen and the Mäuseturm, Looking up 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 64

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 it shows the ruins of Burg Ehrenfels high on the left, with Bingen and the Mäuseturm on its island in the Rhine below, looking east up the river.
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.
Bingen is also shown on folios 67 recto and verso (D30587–D30588; CCCIII 66, 66a). For other views, see the 1817 Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine sketchbooks (respectively Tate D12830–D12831, D12833, D12835, D12840–D12841; Turner Bequest CLX 66a, 67, 68, 69, 71a, 72; D12944–D12949; CLXI 33a–36), the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine sketchbook (D29598, D29737, D29739–D29742, D29744–D29745; CCXCVI 2a, 72a, 73a–75, 76, 76a), the 1830s Rhine (between Cologne and Mayence) also Moselle and Aix-la-Chapelle sketchbook (D28754, D28757; CCXCI a 50a, 52), the 1835 Prague, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Rhine sketchbook (D30644–D30645, D30647, D30650–D30651; CCCIV 7a, 8, 9, 10a, 11), the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (D28493; CCXC 72), and the 1844 Heidelberg sketchbook (D35239; CCCLII 19).
Turner made four watercolours of the vicinity in 1817: Rüdesheim, Looking towards the Binger Loch (National Museum Wales, Cardiff);4 The Binger Loch and Mäuseturm (private collection);5 Abbey at Bingen (private collection);6 and Bingen from the Nahe (British Museum, London).7 There is also a double-sided watercolour of about 1841, Burg Ehrenfels on the Rhine, Looking towards Bingen, with Burg Ehrenfels, Looking towards the Mäuseturm on the verso (Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro).8

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, p.246.
Ibid., p.72.
Ibid., p.82 note 70.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.374 no.639, as ‘Rudesheim, Looking to Bingen Klopp’, reproduced.
Ibid., p.378 no.679, as ‘Bingen Lorch and the Mausethurm’, reproduced.
Ibid., no.680.
Ibid., p.379 no.682, as ‘Bingen from the Lorch’, reproduced.
Not in Wilton 1979; Powell 1995, pp.184–5 no.113, reproduced (both sides, recto in colour).

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