Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sailing Boats on the Moselle between Ürzig and Kröv; Wolfer Kloster above the East Bank of the Moselle, Looking Downstream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 78 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 107

Catalogue entry

In the uppermost sketches Turner makes swift jottings of sailing boats plying the waters of the Moselle between Ürzig (see Tate D19761; Turner Bequest CCXVI 106a) and Kröv. The rest of the page is taken up with sketches of the ruined abbey at Wolf, inscribed as ‘Wolvé’. The artist has also written what appears to be the word ‘Sloss’ next to ‘Wolvé’, perhaps a misspelling of ‘Schloss’, the German for castle.
Turner captures aspects of these imposing ruins, positioned high atop the Gockelsburg, in a succession of views on this sheet and on Tate D19763; Turner Bequest CCXVI 107a. The sheer number of views may be accounted for by the author Bartholomew Stritch, who writes that Wolf is ‘not lost sight of for a long time’ and seems to ‘follow the traveller’s progress’ continually with each bend and meander.1 Indeed, ‘the river lingers and loiters so much in this part of its course, that it seems as if loth to quit a scene of such exquisite and ever varying beauty’.2
The artist drew the abbey again in the larger Moselle (or Rhine) sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D20185; Turner Bequest CCXIX 24). It is also pictured in two colour drawings: Tate D20236; Turner Bequest CCXXI C (c.1826) and Tate D24717; Turner Bequest CCLIX 152 (c.1839). The latter of these colour drawings is associated with three preparatory pencil sketches: Tate D28310–D28311, D28403; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 10a–11, CCXC 27.

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2014

Bartholomew Stritch, The Meuse, the Moselle, and the Rhine; or, A six weeks’ tour through the finest river scenery in Europe, by B.S., London 1845, p.52.

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