Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cochem on the River Mosel, from the North


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, watercolour and gouache on paper
Support: 143 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCII 51

Catalogue entry

Although Finberg correctly described this as a view of a ‘Town, with ruined castle, on Moselle’,1 the specific subject was first published by Cecilia Powell.2 Cochem is seen to the south up a gently curving reach of the Mosel, overlooked by the ruins of the Burg (since elaborately restored and known as the Reichsburg). A main road and railway now run along the right bank, and a road bridge crosses in the middle distance.
Powell has observed that Turner’s ‘distance from the town is similar to that in two of his 1839 gouache views of Cochem [Tate D20238, D24723; Turner Bequest CCXXI E, CCLIX 158] and, as in that series, the hill on the right of the scene stands in dramatic contrast to the distant town. In 1839 a fiery red was used [in D24723], in 1840 a sombre black.’3
For numerous contemporary studies of Cochem see under D28950 (Turner Bequest CCXCII 3); for the full range of Mosel subjects associated with the present tour, see the Introduction to this subsection.
Finberg 1909, II, p.941.
See Powell 1995, p.149.
Technical notes:
Cecilia Powell has noted this as one of 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.1
See Powell 1995, p.145.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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