Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Views at Beilstein and Burg Metternich, from the Moselle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 163 × 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXC 8

Catalogue entry

These four sketches depict the Burg Metternich, Beilstein’s ruined medieval fortress which was once ‘the property of the Electors of Treves, but was held for them by the noble vassals the counts of Matternich and Winneburg’.1 The drawings are arranged at varying orientations and beginning with the sketchbook turned horizontally, the Burg Metternich is depicted atop a mount in the distance with Beilstein before it. Above it is a further sketch of the monument with a mountain range in the background. With the sketchbook orientated inversely to the foliation is a detailed rendering of Beilstein and the castle at top right. The final sketch, the smallest of them all, was also drawn with the sketchbook turned upside down and has been squared off to form a neat and picturesque composition.
For further drawings of the Burg Metternich in this sketchbook see Tate D28364, D28366–D28368, D28527, D28528, D28537; Turner Bequest CCXC 7a, 8a–9a, 86a, 87, 91a. See also the First Mossel and Oxford sketchbook belonging to the same 1839 tour (Tate D28301, D28320, D28321; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 6a, 15a, 16). See also the 1839 gouache and watercolour drawing of the Burg (Tate D20239; Turner Bequest CCXXI F).
For earlier sketches of the monument see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Moselle (or Rhine) sketchbooks of 1824 (Tate D19784, D19787, D19788, D19790, D19792, D20166, D20167; Turner Bequest CCXVI 117, 118a, 119, 120, 121, CCXIX 5, 6).

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

Bartholomew Stritch, The Meuse, the Moselle, and the Rhine; or, A six weeks’ tour through the finest river scenery in Europe, by B.S., London 1845, p.57.

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