In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 156 × 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXVI 25 a

Catalogue entry

Turner visited Laufenburg on his way homewards along the Rhine, from Schaffhausen via Waldshut. Finberg’s ‘lake’ is the river. Turner’s most recent drawings before this had probably been made around the castle of Küssaberg, near Lauchringen; see folio17 verso of this sketchbook (D04672). The small town of Laufenburg was notable for its falls, a milder version of those at Schaffhausen, and for the wooden bridge joining the Swiss and German banks of the river. This view seems to be basically the same as in the very cursory sketches on folios 13 verso and 14 (D04664, D04665), but extended to the left and more finished, presumably with subsequent reworkings to the original sketch made on the spot. Technically the drawing is similar to that on folio 74 (D04734), which also seems to depict Laufenburg from a position near the river. Turner made four more elaborate drawings of Laufenburg in his Fonthill sketchbook (Tate D02204, D02205, D02232 and D02233; Turner Bequest XLVII 27, 28, 55, 56), and worked up the first of these, of the town and bridge from the bed of the Rhine, for a plate in the Liber Studiorum where it joined the view of Thun, based on folio 48 of the present sketchbook (D04705), in the ‘Architectural’ category. His drawing for the Liber is Tate D08135; Turner Bequest CXVII H.

David Blayney Brown
March 2004

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