Joseph Mallord William Turner

Oberwesel and the Schönburg, Looking up the River Rhine


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIII 51

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 it shows Oberwesel, on the west bank of the Rhine, with the ruins of the Schönburg, since restored, high above, looking south-east up the river.
Powell has noted that Turner neared the end of this tour following ‘the familiar route of the Rhine between Mainz and Cologne. He almost certainly travelled by steamer, ... sketching most of the well-known sights perfunctorily as he passed.’2 Given that this sketchbook was used in reverse of its subsequent foliation, she has specified the overall range of this phase as ‘TB CCCIII 68v–20v; 11r’,3 indicating folios 12 recto and 21 verso–69 verso (D30479, D30497–D30592; Turner Bequest CCCIII 20a–68a); see this book’s Introduction for the full itinerary of this part of the journey.
Oberwesel is also shown on folios 52 verso–54 recto (D30559–D30562; CCCIII 51a–53). For other views, see the 1817 Waterloo and Rhine sketchbook (Tate D12704, D12844, D12875–D12876, D12878; Turner Bequest CLX 2, 73a, 89a, 90, 91), the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine sketchbook (D29717–D29720, D29724, D29730; CCXCVI 62a–64, 66, 69), the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (D28459–D28465, D28467–D28469, D28472–D28473, D28497, D28500–D28503; CCXC 55–58, 59–60, 61a, 62, 74, 75a–77), and the 1844 Rhine and Rhine Castles sketchbook (D35218; CCCLI 25).
The Schönburg appears on folios 53 recto and verso and 54 recto and in the distance folio 56 recto (D30560–D30562, D30566; CCCIII 52, 52a, 53, 55). See also the 1817 Itinerary Rhine Tour and Waterloo and Rhine books (respectively Tate D12649, D12652–D12653; CLIX 76a, 78, 78a; D12704, D12844–D12845, D12877–D12878; CLX 2, 73a, 74, 90a, 91), Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine (D29717–D29718, D29725; CCXCVI 62a, 63, 66a), and Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence (D28459–D28461, D28464–D28466, D28468–D28469, D28472–D28473, D28497–D28498, D28500, D28502–D28503; CCXC 55–56, 57a–58a, 59a, 60, 61a, 62, 74, 74a, 75a, 76a, 77).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, p.246.
Ibid., p.72.
Ibid., p.82 note 70.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.375 no.644, reproduced.
Ibid., p.462 no.1347, as ‘Rheinfels’, ?1844, reproduced.
Ibid., p.465 no.1380, pl.243.
Ibid., pp.458–9 no.1319, as ‘Andernach’, reproduced.

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