Joseph Mallord William Turner

Traben, Trarbach and the Grevenburg, Looking Downstream; Trarbach and the Grevenburg, Looking Downstream; The Grevenburg, Looking Upstream from Successive Downstream Viewpoints


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 9 a

Catalogue entry

With agile line Turner has pictured the villages of Traben and Trarbach situated on the Moselle between Trier and Koblenz. The profile of the majestic ruined Castle of Grevenburg can be seen on the summit of a valley cliff in each drawing. Grevenburg was constructed in 1350 by Count Johann III of Sponheim-Starkenburg but was later conquered in 1680 by Louis XIV of France and extended, together with the fort of Mont Royal, as part of the King’s artillery.1 The castle was besieged on a number of occasions between 1702 and 1730 and was finally destroyed by the French in 1734.2 The hollowed remains of Grevenburg’s western wall and keep are largely intact, though huge swathes of its masonry have since plunged into the valley beneath.
For other sketches of Traben, Trarbach and the Grevenburg in this book see Tate D28310; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 10a; see also the Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook belonging to the 1839 tour (Tate D28390–D28395, D28400–D28401; Turner Bequest CCXC 20a–23, 25a–26). For gouache drawings of the Grevenburg produced in c.1839 see Tate D20223, D20234, D20240, D20259, D20275; Turner Bequest CCXX P, CCXXI A, G, Z, CCXXII P).

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

‘Grevenburg Castle Ruins’, Mosel Treffpunkt: Traben-Trabach,, accessed 16 July 2013.

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