Joseph Mallord William Turner

Traben, Trarbach and the Grevenburg


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 138 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXII P

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Traben and Trarbach face each other across the Mosel and in Turner's day were linked by the flying bridge seen on the left of no.57. In his four gouache studies of these towns he shows contrasting views and handles his materials very differently. No.57 (painted on white paper prepared with a blue wash rather than on blue paper) looks downstream at both towns, while the feathery no.60 looks upstream at Trarbach alone. In the moonlit no.58 Turner's viewpoint is well away from the Mosel, on the southern fringes of Trarbach, and in the much more richly painted no.59 he is looking down on its many towers from close to its ruined castle.

Gallery label, August 2004

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