Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Liebfrauenkirche at Oberwesel and the Schönburg, Looking Upstream; Bacharach and Burg Stahleck, Looking Downstream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXC 62

Catalogue entry

The principal view is of Bachrach, a town which lies in the valleys of the Steeg and Rhine approximately thirty miles south of Koblenz. The spire marks out St Peter’s Evangelical Church and to its left, the ruin of the Gothic Wernerkapelle (its pointed arched windows summarily suggested in an ‘M’-shaped line). The ruin of Castle Stahleck is roughly indicated to the left of the Wernerkapelle atop the small mount. Stahleck is a twelfth-century fortified castle built on the orders of the Archbishop of Cologne. The castle was besieged and sacked on a number of occasions during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) and the War of the Palatine Succession (1688–97), leaving it ruined throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.1
The sketch at bottom right is the lower half of the spire of the Liebfrauenkirche at Oberwesel depicted on the folio opposite (Tate D28472; Turner Bequest CCXC 61a).

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

Robert R. Taylor, The Castles of the Rhine: Recreating the Middle Ages in Modern Germany, Waterloo, Ontario 1998, p.284–5.

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