Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Sketches of Beilstein and Burg Metternich, Looking Upstream from Viewpoints successively further from the Town Going Downstream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 235 × 140 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 15 a

Catalogue entry

This series of rough sketches depicts Beilstein, known by locals as ‘Dornröschen der Mosel’ or the ‘Sleeping Beauty of the Mosel’. Beilstein is presided over by the imposing ruins of the Burg Metternich, a fortress which was once ‘the property of the Electors of Trèves, but was held for them by the noble vassals the counts of Matternich and Winneburg’.1 Saint Joseph’s Parish Church and Carmelite Monastery, constructed in 1686, can be seen perched on the gradient between the castle and the old town.2 The remains of a medieval defensive gate and walls are summarily suggested in the uppermost drawing.
For further drawings of the Burg Metternich in this sketchbook see Tate D28302, D28321; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 6a, 16; see also the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (Tate D28364–D28368, D28527, D28528, D28537; Turner Bequest CCXC 7a–9a, 86a, 87, 91a) and the 1839 gouache and watercolour drawing of the Burg (Tate D20239; Turner Bequest CCXXI F). For earlier sketches of the monument see the Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Moselle (or Rhine) sketchbooks of 1824 (Tate D19784, D19787, D19788, D19790, D19792, D20166, D20167; Turner Bequest CCXVI 117, 118a, 119, 120, 121, CCXIX 5, 6).

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

Bartholomew Stritch, The Meuse, the Moselle, and the Rhine; or, A six weeks' tour through the finest river scenery in Europe, by B.S., London 1845, p.57.
‘Karmeliterkloster Beilstein’, Klöster und Stifte in Rheinland-Pfalz,, accessed 13 August 2013.

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