Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Views Drawn on the Way through the Hills towards Cochem, with the Burg Seen in the Distance; The Burg at Cochem


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 163 × 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXC 4 a

Catalogue entry

These finely wrought sketches depict the hills and valleys which Turner encountered on his journey back up the Moselle towards Cochem (see Tate D28358; Turner Bequest CCXC 4). At the bottom right is a summary linear profile of the Reichsburg or Cochem Castle.
The castle was first mentioned in a document in 1051 and was for many years the established seat of the palatinate counts until the first German King Konrad III declared it an imperial castle.1 It fell into ruin after an occupation by the French King Louis XIV over the course of the Nine Years’ War and remained in a decaying state until 1868 when it was rebuilt in the Gothic Revival architectural style.2 In Turner’s sketch, the artist captures its crumbling and pitted silhouette, inscribing it ‘Coch’ below. There is a further depiction of the Reichsburg on folio 6 recto of this sketchbook (Tate D28361; Turner Bequest CCXC 6). See also the First Mossel and Oxford sketchbook belonging to the 1839 tour (Tate D28318; CCLXXXIX 14a) and the earlier Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19792, D19794; Turner Bequest CCXVI 121, 122).

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

‘History of Cochem Castle’, Reichsburg, Cochem,, accessed 11 July 2013.

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