Joseph Mallord William Turner

Burg Hammerstein on the River Rhine


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 147 x 193 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLI 208

Catalogue entry

The ruins of Burg Hammerstein are shown high on the east bank of the River Rhine, looking upriver to the south-east, with the spire of St George’s Church below; compare the 1817 watercolour of Hammerstein below Andernach (Johannesburg Art Gallery).1
The present subject was among those listed in broad terms by Cecilia Powell, as quoted in the technical notes below, in relation to a group of thirteen similar drawings mostly made along rural stretches of the river. For sketches of the scene from 1817 onwards, see under Tate D30520 (Turner Bequest CCCIII 32) in the 1840 Würzburg, Rhine and Ostend book, used as Turner travelled homeward. Among the related views on separate sheets, there are two variations (D33910, D33914; Turner Bequest CCCXLI 205, 209).
For the likely sequence of the Rhine subjects in this grouping and the wider context of the tour, see the Introduction to this subsection. The other side of this sheet, D33901 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 196), shows the Drachenfels, about fifteen miles downstream.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.376–7 no.664, reproduced.
Technical notes:
In discussing one of the 1840 River Mosel subjects in this subsection (Tate D28998; Turner Bequest CCXCII 50), Cecilia Powell has noted that it ‘originally formed part of the same sheet as eight others of the same size which bear pencil drawings of the Rhine on both recto and verso. These include views of Bonn, the Godesburg, Rolandseck, the Drachenfels, Hammerstein and Burg Rheineck (TB CCCXLI 194–209 [Tate D33899–D33914, of which D33903, D33904 and D33906 are blank]). The sheet is watermarked BE&S / 1829.’1 Apparently indicating that they were still joined in 1909, Finberg noted the ‘following numbers, 194–209, form [sic] part of one large sheet folded into small sections.’2
Powell has noted the many sheets of grey 1829 Bally, Ellen and Steart paper used on Turner’s 1840 tour, neatly torn as eighths or sixteenths of the overall sheet, with dimensions of around 190 x 280 or 140 x 190 mm, and variously worked with pencil, watercolour and gouache; see the technical notes in the overall Introduction for others.3

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, pp.150–1; see also Karl Heinz Stader, William Turner und der Rhein, Bonn 1981, p.43.
Finberg 1909, II, p.1073.
See also Powell 1995, p.145.

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