Joseph Mallord William Turner

Klotten and Burg Coraidelstein from the West


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 140 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXI D

Display caption

Nos.69 and 70 show two very different faces of the same town. In no.69 Klotten appears the epitome of serenity, its castle apparently situated upon a gentle slope. The most finished area is the hillside, where brilliant sunlight is powerfully represented by pure colour. In no.70, however, the castle appears precariously perched on the brink of an abyss and the ensemble takes on a far more dynamic character which is underlined by Turner's expressive handling and clashing colours.

Gallery label, August 1991

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Catalogue entry

In this drawing, the picturesque Moselle village of Klotten is represented in brilliant bold colour. Klotten’s principal landmarks, the spired Church of Saint-Maximin and the ruins of the medieval Burg Coraidelstein are left in ‘negative’, unpainted by Turner and instead simply outlined with vivid red ink and a luminescent, almost fluorescent, coral pink gouache. This technique is used again to render the row of houses and buildings lining the waterfront. In that instance, Turner has smudged the pink gouache at the base of the buildings, which gives the impression of their forms reflecting iridescently on the mirror surface of the river.
The conical mount atop which Coraidelstein Castle is perched is coloured in opaque shades of gold, citrine and maize yellow. Broad applications of rust, mauve and pale indigo pigment mark out the surrounding peaks, their pits, crags and striations penned in with hairline strokes of red ink. As the watercolour wash has mottled some of the blue paper beneath is left exposed, giving an impression of the uneven texture of rock.
This drawing is developed from a preliminary pencil sketch in the Cochem to Coblenz – Home sketchbook (Tate D28550; Turner Bequest CCXCI 7 a). There is a further gouache of Klotten and Castle Coraidelstein, taken from an easterly perspective, on Tate D29029; Turner Bequest CCXCII 78.
Stamped in black ink with Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCXXI D’ at bottom centre; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXI D’ bottom centre and ‘14a’ at centre towards top and ‘29a’beneath.

Alice Rylance-Watson
September 2013

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