Joseph Mallord William Turner

Klotten and Burg Coraidelstein on the River Mosel from the East, towards Sunset

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite, watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions
Support: 140 × 191 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28967
Turner Bequest CCXCII 20

Catalogue entry

Finberg suggested that Beilstein, on the River Mosel, is shown,1 but Turner did not record any subjects beyond Cochem, roughly five miles downstream, on this trip (see under Tate D28950; Turner Bequest CCXCII 3); for Beilstein in relation to the 1839 tour, see Alice Rylance-Watson’s entry for Tate D20239 (Turner Bequest CCXXI F), a gouache study on blue paper.
Instead, as Cecilia Powell established, the view here is west up the Mosel to Klotten (not far east of Cochem), its only notable landmark being the spire of St Maximin’s Church, silhouetted against the glow of the descending sun. The scene is dominated by the ruins of Burg Coraidelstein on the hill north-east of the church.2
See also the 1824 Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook (Tate D19794, D19797–D19798; Turner Bequest CCXVI 122, 123a, 124), the 1839 First Mossel and Oxford book (D28294, D28298, D28309, D28344; CCLXXXIX 2a, 4a, 10, 27a) and the Cochem to Coblenz – Home book of the same year (D28550–D28553; CCXCI 7a–9). There are also gouache studies on blue paper associated with the 1839 tour (Tate D20237, D29029; Turner Bequest CCXXI D, CCXCII 78), the second of which shows a similar aspect to the present work,3 albeit in more conventional daylight with heavy cloud.
Compare the strongly coloured effect and composition here, with the sun counterbalancing a high tower, with those of a contemporary colour study of Cochem (D28974; CCXCII 27). For the full range of Mosel subjects associated with the present tour, see the Introduction to this subsection.
1
Finberg 1909, II, p.939.
2
See Powell 1995, p.150.
3
See ibid., pp.137, 150.
Technical notes:
Pencil has been used sparingly over the colour to define selected architectural details. Cecilia Powell has noted: ‘The colours of the right-hand half are close to those in the view of Burg Bischofstein [Tate D28966; Turner Bequest CCXCII 19], while those in the left-hand side and the shadowed side of the gorge echo those used in a view of Ehrenbreitstein [D28957; CCXCII 10]’,1 both included in the present grouping.
Powell has noted this as one of the many sheets of grey 1829 Bally, Ellen and Steart paper used on Turner’s 1840 tour, neatly torn as eighths or sixteenths of the overall sheet, with dimensions of around 190 x 280 or 140 x 190 mm, and variously worked with pencil, watercolour and gouache; see the technical notes in the overall Introduction for others.2
1
Ibid., p.150; see also p.155.
2
See ibid., p.145.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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