Joseph Mallord William Turner

Burg Sterrenberg and Burg Liebenstein (the ‘Hostile Brothers’), Looking down the River Rhine to Bornhofen

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
D30544
Turner Bequest CCCIII 44

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 it shows Burg Sterrenberg and (to its right) the nearer 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 above Bornhofen, looking north-west down 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.
For other Bornhofen, Burg Sterrenberg and Burg Liebenstein views 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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