Rendered in swift, agile line, these sketches show the weathered and gaunt ruins of the Grevenburg, located atop a vertiginous ridge, ‘high in the heavens’, on the approach to Traben-Trarbach. The Grevenburg was constructed in 1350 by Count Johann III of Sponheim-Starkenburg and was later conquered in 1680 by Louis XIV.1 Turner makes note of the atmospheric effects he experienced as his boat navigated past the Grevenburg and its mighty rock; he writes that there was a ‘Curious Effect of Smoke’ on the river, a ‘Cold Wind’ was blowing, ‘Light Cloud’ hung in the sky, and a ‘dawn Sun’ gleamed. At rear Turner has jotted the tower and steeple of Trarbach’s church, dedicated to St Nicholas.
For drawings of Traben-Trarbach and the Grevenberg dated 1824 see: Tate D19765–D19771, D20186, D20191; Turner Bequest CCXVI 108a–111a, CCXIX 25, 30. For pencil and colour drawings taken in 1839 see: Tate D20234, D20240, D20259, D20275, D28308, D28310, D28190–D28395, D28400–D28401; Turner Bequest CCXXI A, G, Z, CCXXII P, CCLXXXIX 9a, 10a, CCXC 20a–23, 25a–26.
Michael Joseph Quin, Steam Voyages on the Seine, the Moselle, & the Rhine, etc., London 1843, p.14 and ‘Grevenburg Castle Ruins’, Mosel Treffpunkt: Traben-Trabach, http://www
.traben, accessed 30 April 2014. -trarbach .de /nextshopcms /show .asp ?lang =en &e1 =994
- River Mosel(336)