Joseph Mallord William Turner

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

1840

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30542
Turner Bequest CCCIII 43

Catalogue entry

These drawings were made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 they show 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 south-east of the church spire at Bornhofen; at the centre are separate studies of the castles from another angle.
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.
For other views of Bornhofen and the two castles in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 43 verso (D30541; CCCIII 42a).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Powell 1995, p.246.
2
Ibid., p.72.
3
Ibid., p.82 note 70.

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