Here Turner depicts the Enderttor, a fourteenth-century town gate which lies by the River Endert in Cochem, Germany. The half-timbered building with a round gable immediately to the right of the gate is the Alte Thorschenke tavern, built into the fortified walls of the town. As Cecilia Powell writes, ‘Turner must surely have been among its customers, probably on more than one occasion, and may indeed have stayed there’.1
The composition is based on two pencil sketches in the 1839 Cochem to Coblenz – Home sketchbook (Tate D28541–D28542; Turner Bequest CCXCI 2a–3). Given its vertical format (rare among Turner’s gouaches), this work was likely ‘conceived and executed as a companion’ to the view of St Martin’s Church, Cochem (Tate D20253; Turner Bequest CCXXI T).
Rendered in rose pink is the profile of Cochem Castle in the distance, framed by a layered succession of steep valley cliffs painted in soft amber and pale mauve gouache. The architecture is delineated in brushstrokes of black and rust-red wash, applied swiftly and, in places, with dry brush to expose the grain of the paper.
Powell 1995, pp.134–5 no.54.
Stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCLIX–241’ towards bottom right; inscribed in pencil ‘38a’ centre towards right; inscribed in pencil in different hand ‘CCLIX 241’ top right.