Joseph Mallord William Turner

Oberlahnstein, Burg Lahneck and the Martinsburg, Looking Downstream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXC 85

Catalogue entry

Here Turner depicts the town of Oberlahnstein situated in the foothills of the Westerwald and Taunus and at the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine rivers, approximately four miles south of Koblenz. Owing to their strategic importance on the Rhine, Oberlahnstein and Niederlahnstei (Lower and Upper Lahnstein) were heavily fortified, dominated by Lahneck and Martinsburg Castles and the Schloss Stolzenfels. It is the Burg Lahneck and the tower of the Martinsburg which Turner represents in this sketch, the former in the distance and the latter in the foreground. The artist has also inscribed ‘Laneck’ at the top right of the drawing.
For depictions of Burg Lahneck and Martinsburg elsewhere in this sketchbook see Tate D28448, D28450–D28453, D28526–D28528; Turner Bequest CCXC 49a, 50a–52, 86–87. For earlier views see the Itinerary Rhine Tour sketchbook of 1817 (Tate D12659; Turner Bequest CCLIX 81a); the Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine sketchbooks of the same date (Tate D12808, D12811, D12812, D12852, D12906, D12907, D12911, D12980; Turner Bequest CLX 55a, 57, 57a, 77, CLXI 13a, 14, 17, 52). See also the 1824 sketchbooks Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Trèves and Rhine (Tate D19829, D19831, D19833, D19834, D20157, D20159; Turner Bequest CCXVI 139a, 140a, 141a, 142, CCXVIII 19, 21).

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

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