Joseph Mallord William Turner

Schaffhausen: Looking Down the Rhine, from below Kastell Munot


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 237 × 294 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 287

Display caption

It may seem surprising that Ruskin chose this sketch, rather than one of the general views of Schaffhausen, which actually relate to the finished watercolour he had commissioned from Turner in 1845. However, this study allowed him to analyse the way Turner built up his composition: 'The square house is put just under the castle, partly to sustain it, partly to set off its pretty outline; but these two masses being nearly equal, and attracting the eye as such, a third, the oblique sail, is added, and puts all right...The carrying down the dark right-hand side of the house into a curve, gathered up to the left by the half of the sail, is especially Turneresque.'

Gallery label, August 2004

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