Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ehrenbreitstein from Coblenz


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 141 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 244

Display caption

None of these three studies has previously been recognised for what it really is, but there can be no mistaking the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, the large domed church of the Holy Cross and the bridge of boats (compare nos.127-131). Taken together, the three show a wide-angled view in the extended horizontal format often found in much earlier topographical views of rivers. Thus, despite their free handling and their expressive, forward-looking colours, the views are in fact deeply rooted in the topographical traditions of the past, as was the case with much of Turner's most avant-garde work in the late 1830s.

Gallery label, August 2004

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