Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Views Drawn on the Way through the Hills towards Cochem, with Burg in the Distance


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 4

Catalogue entry

These finely wrought sketches depict the hills and valleys Turner encountered on his journey back up the Moselle towards Cochem. As Cecilia Powell writes, Turner ‘doubled back up the Moselle’ after visiting Koblenz in order to study the river ‘from the land and sketch its scenery at leisure from a multiplicity of viewpoints’.1 The present folio is not in its original placement because of the dismemberment of the sketchbook in the nineteenth century. Its current location within the book, then, does not reflect the order of Turner’s movements between Koblenz and Cochem. However, Powell writes that ‘it seems very probable’ that the artist ‘based himself at Cochem’ and from there ‘travelled slowly back up to Trier’ where he produced careful sketches such as this and the one on its verso (Tate D28358; Turner Bequest CCXC 4a).2
There are three sketches drawn by Turner with the sketchbook positioned in accordance with the foliation. These are: a diminutive linear profile of a tower and buildings at the top right followed by two drawings of the Moselle and the precipitous gradients which form its valleys. The same tower seems to reappear in all three sketches. The fourth sketch of a similar landscape is located at the bottom left, drawn with book orientated horizontally. In two of the sketches Turner has inscribed ‘Road’.

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

Powell 1991, p.53.

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