Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Drachenfels, Looking down the River Rhine

1840

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30504
Turner Bequest CCCIII 24

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. Tentatively identified by Finberg, albeit slightly idiosyncratically as nearby ‘K[ö]nigswinter’,1 and confirmed by Cecilia Powell,2 it shows the towering Drachenfels hill and the ruins of Burg Drachenfels on the east bank of the Rhine, looking north-west down the river. There is a similar view on folio 24 verso opposite (D30503; Turner Bequest CCCIII 23a).
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.’3 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’,4 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.
For other Drachenfels views in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 23 recto (D30500; CCCIII 22).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.979.
2
Powell 1995, p.246.
3
Ibid., p.72.
4
Ibid., p.82 note 70.

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