Not on display
In order to take these nimbly rendered sketches, Turner appears to have alighted from his boat and started on foot to explore the twisting complicated streets of Trarbach. Here the artist makes a full study of one particularly elaborate timber-framed house, and a sketch of a group of buildings at the foot of the page.
Accounts written in the 1840s give some textual picture of Trarbach’s interior: the Victorian travel writer Michael Joseph Quin describes the town’s streets as ‘most irregularly formed, on account of the hilly nature of the ground which they occupy. Some of the houses in those streets seemed to us perched in the air’.1 Another contemporary travel writer Bartholomew Stritch, meanwhile, is rather more critical of Trarbach’s local architecture and landscaping, describing its streets as: ‘dark, tortuous, narrow, and dirty... formed of old fashioned, and time stained houses, with heavy over-hanging gables, that seem leaning upon each other from decrepitude’.2