Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cochem, Looking Upstream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 121 a

Catalogue entry

With deft and agile handling, here Turner records a view of Cochem, including a parade of riverside buildings decorated with elaborate gables, stonework and timber frames. Atop the conical mount overlooking the town is the tenth-century Reichsburg Castle, left in ruins after it was besieged by the French in the Nine Years War. Two faint inscriptions are written over the centre of the drawing; one appears to read ‘Hilly’ and the other begins ‘L’agi[...]’. Turner may be attempting to inscribe the word ‘Aiguille’, the French for a rock pinnacle or needle-shaped peak.
For further depictions of Cochem in this sketchbook see Tate D19792, D19794–D19796; Turner Bequest CCXVI 121, 122–123. For later views, see Tate D28318–D28319, D28318–D28319, D28358–D28363, D28540–D28549; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 3–3a, 14a–15, CCXC 4a–7, CCXCI 2–7. See also Turner’s watercolour and gouache drawings of the town on Tate D20238, D20253, D24723, D24725, D24806, D28948, D28950, D28963, D28974, D28986, D28987, D28992, D29000, D29020; Turner Bequest CCXXI E, T, CCLIX 158, 160, 241, CCXCII 1, 3, 16, 27, 39, 40, 45, 51, 69.
Technical notes:
There is a small tear of about half an inch in length at top centre of the page.

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2014

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