Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cond and Cochem, Looking Upstream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 156 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCI 3 a

Display caption

In 1839 Turner drew more pencil sketches of Cochem than of anywhere else on the Mosel and it inspired no less than seven gouache studies of which six are exhibited here (nos.63-8). The sketch on f.3v shows the view upstream towards the castle on its hill and includes St Martin's church and a former monastery above it on the hillside. That on f.4r shows these two buildings again, but from a corner of the market square, looking towards the baroque town hall. The square is curiously deserted and one can only conclude that Turner sketched it on a solitary walk soon after daybreak.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Here Turner records a view of Cochem looking upstream on the Moselle towards the Reichsburg, a ruined medieval castle which overlooks the city from atop a mount. The castle was first mentioned in a document of 1051 and was for many years the established seat of the palatinate counts until the first German King Konrad III declared it an imperial castle.1 It fell into ruin after an occupation by the French King Louis XIV over the course of the Nine Years War and remained in a decaying state until 1868 when it was rebuilt in the Gothic Revival architectural style.2 In the middle distance is the Church of Saint Martin, with its elaborate spire and onion-shaped cupola (see also Tate D20253, D28540; Turner Bequest CCXXI T, CCXCI 2). Half way up the hill to the right is the former Capuchin monastery, founded in the seventeenth century by Elector Lothar von Metternich. The monastery and church are also shown on the folio opposite (Tate D28544; Turner Bequest CCXCI 4). The village of Cond, situated on the opposite bank to Cochem, is depicted in the far left corner.
‘History of Cochem Castle’, Reichsburg, Cochem,, accessed 11 July 2013.
Technical notes:
The leather loop on the inside front cover has stained the sheet.

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

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