Joseph Mallord William Turner

Six Sketches Drawn Going Downstream Approaching Burgen and Burg Bischofstein and the Pauluskapelle, with Separate Details of the Burg and the Chapel


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 126

Catalogue entry

Turner drew these six diminutive yet precisely rendered views as he navigated the Moselle away from Müden and Moselkern and towards Burgen and the Castle Bischofstein. Its crenellated cylindrical keep, decorated with a single white band near centre, is depicted by Turner rising from steep stone cliffs. The castle was constructed in the second half of the thirteenth century under the direction of the Archbishops of Trier.1 During the Nine Years War (1688–97), however, Bischofstein sustained multiple attacks from French troops and lay in ruin until its auction in 1803.2 Adjoining the castle’s donjon tower is a small chapel dedicated to St Stephen, and beneath it, a little further down the mount towards the river, is the larger eleventh-century Chapel of St Paul.
For other sketches and drawings of Burgen and the Burg Bischofstein see: Tate D19803, D28314, D28316, D28319, D28562–D28566, D28966, D29021; Turner Bequest CCXVI 126a, CCLXXXIX 12a, 13a, 15, CCXCI 13a–15a, CCXCII 19, 70.
‘Bischofstein’, EBIDAT: Burgendatenbank des Europäischen Burgeninstitutes; Burgen an Rhein und Donau, accessed 31 May 2014, <>
Technical notes:
The paper has browned and the pencil has faded a little: this is the likely result of the folio’s overexposure during its display at the National Gallery in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Alice Rylance-Watson
May 2014

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