Joseph Mallord William Turner

Burg Lahneck and Niederlahnstein, Looking Upstream from the West Bank


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXC 50 a

Catalogue entry

This slight and swiftly rendered sketch depicts the town of Niederlahnstein presided over by Lahneck Castle atop the mount. The castle dates back to 1226, constructed by the Archbishop of Mainz, Siegfried III of Eppstein, to protect his territories at the mouth of the Lahn.1 By the time of Turner’s visit it had been heavily damaged, besieged in 1633 by Imperial troops during the Thirty Years’ War.2 In the eighteenth century, the castle was immortalised by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his poem Geistesgruß of 1774.3
For depictions of Burg Lahneck elsewhere in this sketchbook see Tate D28448, D28451–D28453, D28524–D28528; Turner Bequest CCXC 49a, 51–52, 85–87. For earlier views see the Itinerary Rhine Tour sketchbook of 1817 (Tate D12659; Turner Bequest CCLIX 81a); the Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine sketchbooks of the same date (Tate D12808, D12811, D12812, D12852, D12906, D12907, D12911, D12980; Turner Bequest CLX 55a, 57, 57a, 77, CLXI 13a, 14, 17, 52). See also the 1824 sketchbooks Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Trèves and Rhine (Tate D19829, D19831, D19833, D19834, D20157, D20159; Turner Bequest CCXVI 139a, 140a, 141a, 142, CCXVIII 19, 21).

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

‘History’, Burg Lahneck,, accessed 23 July 2013.
‘Goethe’, Burg Lahenck,, accessed 23 July 2013.

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