Joseph Mallord William Turner

Gondorf, Looking Downstream


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 24 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch of the town of Gondorf and the Leyen Burg is the first in a series of eight pencil studies Turner made of these subjects from vantage points the Moselle and inland (Tate D28584–D28588; Turner Bequest CCXCI 25–7). Gondorf, Quin writes, ‘carries on an extensive trade in the sale of wood, and also of potters’ earth and pipe-clay. It serves Holland with a great proportion of its materials for the pipe manufacture’.1 The Leyen Burg, meanwhile, is rare among the castles which defend stretches of the Moselle because it is situated immediately on the riverbank and not atop a mount overlooking the river from on high. Until the early nineteenth century it was maintained and occupied by the Counts of Leyen.2
From this particular pencil sketch Turner produced an evocative watercolour and gouache drawing of Gondorf in the winter of 1839 (Tate D24588; Turner Bequest CCLIX 23). For other views of Gondorf and its Leyen Burg see the Rhine (between Cologne and Mayence) also Moselle and Aix-la-Chapelle sketchbook of c.1834 (Tate D28783; Turner Bequest CCXCI a 65) and the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19810, D19811; Turner Bequest CCXVI 130–130a).

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

Michael Joseph Quin, Steam voyages on the Seine, the Moselle, & the Rhine, London 1843, p.62.
Powell 1991, p.148 no.77.

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