Joseph Mallord William Turner

Six Sketches on the Moselle near Piesport, Including Three of the So-Called Mosel Lorelei


Not on display

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 103

Catalogue entry

Turner records the town of Piesport on the Moselle in the uppermost sketch, a continuation of his studies on the folio opposite (Tate D19753; Turner Bequest CCXVI 102a). The remaining page is used to record what Cecilia Powell terms ‘the so-called Mosel Lorelei’: soaring rocks which resemble the actual Lorelei rock at St Goarhausen on the Rhine (see, for example, Tate D12619, D12620, D12703, D12704, D29701; Turner Bequest CLIX 57a, 58, CLX 1a, 2, CCXCVI 54a). The Victorian travel writer Bartholomew Stritch was also struck by the grandeur of the cliffs on this stretch of the Moselle, writing that they assume a:
bolder, more imposing, romantic, and feudal character. The mountains on both sides of its course, not only rise to a much greater height, but are more varied and wild in their outlines, and more rugged and precipitous on the sides next to the river [...]1

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.47.

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