Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rolandseck, Nonnenwerth and the Drachenfels, Looking down the River Rhine

1840

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30507
Turner Bequest CCCIII 25 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As suggested by Finberg1 and confirmed by Cecilia Powell,2 it shows Rolandseck, with the ruins of the castle high above on the left, Nonnenwerth island in the Rhine, and the Drachenfels hill, also crowned by ruins, on the right, looking north down 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.’3 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’,4 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.
For other Rolandseck and Drachenfels views in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 23 recto (D30500; CCCIII 22); and for Nonnenwerth, under folio 25 verso (D30505; CCCIII 24a).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.979.
2
Powell 1995, p.246.
3
Ibid., p.72.
4
Ibid., p.82 note 70.

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