Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Junction of the Rivers Lahn and Rhine, Looking up the Rhine to Burg Lahneck, Oberlahnstein and Schloss Stolzenfels; Ehrenbreitstein, Looking Downstream


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIII 38

Catalogue entry

There are two drawings, made with the page turned horizontally both ways. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 the outer shows the confluence of the Rivers Lahn and Rhine, south-west upriver with Burg Lahneck above Oberlahnstein (now, with Niederlahnstein, united as Lahnstein) on the left, and Schloss Stolzenfels on the right. The other way up, towards the gutter, is the Ehrenbreitstein fortress, above the east bank about five miles downstream opposite the confluence with the Mosel at Coblenz. For Turner’s many other Ehrenbreitstein views, see under Tate D28957 (Turner Bequest CCXCII 10), a contemporary watercolour study on grey paper.
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.’2 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’,3 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.
The Lahn and Burg Lahneck are also shown on folios 39 verso and 40 recto (D30533–D30534; CCCIII 38a, 39), and Schloss Stolzenfels is seen again on folio 41 verso (D30537; CCCIII 40a). The landmarks along this part of the Rhine were the subject of many interconnected sketches on other occasions. For other views featuring the Lahn, see the 1817 Waterloo and Rhine sketchbook (Tate D12811; Turner Bequest CLX 57), the 1824 Trèves and Rhine sketchbook (D20155–D20160; CCXVIII 17–22), the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine sketchbook (D29660; CCXCVI 32a), and the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (D28448, D28526; CCXC 49a, 86). There is also an undated pencil study on grey paper, showing Niederlahnstein with the mouth of the Lahn (D34100; CCCXLI 378).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, p.246.
Ibid., p.72.
Ibid., p.82 note 70.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.376 no.654, reproduced.

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