Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sankt Goar and Burg Rheinfels, on 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 48 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 it shows Sankt Goar, on the west bank of the Rhine, with the spire of its church and the ruins of Burg Rheinfels, downriver to the north-west.
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.
Sankt Goar is also shown on folio 51 recto (D30556; CCCIII 50). For other views, see the 1817 Itinerary Rhine Tour, Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine sketchbooks (respectively Tate D12619–D12620; Turner Bequest CLIX 57a, 58; D12780, D12816; CLX 41a, 59a; D12918–D12919, D12921, D12924–D12935, D12959–D12960; CLXI 21a, 22, 23, 24a–29, 41a, 42), the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine sketchbook (D29709–D29712, D29714; CCXCVI 58a–60, 61), the 1830s Rhine (between Cologne and Mayence) also Moselle and Aix-la-Chapelle sketchbook (D28695; CCXCI a 21), the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (D28454–D28457, D28506–D28507, D28510; CCXC 52a–54, 78a, 79a, 79d), the Rhine sketchbook of about 1840 (D32677, D32680; CCCXXIII 7a, 9), and the 1844 Rhine and Rhine Castles sketchbook (D35183, D35185–D35186, D35211, D35213, D35215; CCCLI 7a, 8a, 9, 21a, 22a, 23a).
An 1817 watercolour show the view From Rheinfels Looking over St Goar to Katz (currently untraced).4 The 1839 watercolour Oberwesel on the Rhine has a pencil sketch of Sankt Goar and Rheinfels on the verso (Indianapolis Museum of Art).5 A watercolour of about 1844, On the Rhine: Looking over St Goar to Katz, from Rheinfels, revisits the 1817 prospect (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford),6 and there is another of about that year, St Goar Looking towards St Goarhausen, showing Katz on the verso (Eton College).7

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.378 no.677, reproduced.
Ibid., p.462 no.1347, as ‘Rheinfels’, ?1844, reproduced.
Ibid., p.460 no.1329, reproduced.
Ibid., p.461 no.1342, reproduced (both sides).

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop