Joseph Mallord William Turner

View up the Rhine to Ehrenbreitstein; View down the Rhine to Coblenz and Ehrenbreitstein, with the Bridge of Boats


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIV 92 a

Catalogue entry

Here Turner has rendered two views of Coblenz, Germany, looking towards the citadel of Ehrenbreitstein. The uppermost sketch shows a view up the Rhine to Ehrenbreitsein while the lower looks down the river with Coblenz on the left and Ehrenbreitstein at centre. In this latter sketch the twin towers of Coblenz’s Liebfrauenkirche can be seen, as well as a bridge of boats marked out with a dashed line. Ehrenbreitstein fortess was constructed by the Prussians between 1817 and 1828 to guard the middle Rhine region. A fortification has existed on the site since about the tenth century BC.
For other depictions of Ehrenbreitstein see the Waterloo and Rhine sketchbook of 1817 (Tate D12781–D12783, D12802–D12806, D12809; Turner Bequest CLX 42–43, 52a–54a, 56); the Rhine sketchbook of the same date (Tate D12894, D12899, D12901–D12902, D12908; Turner Bequest 7, 10, 11–11a, 15); the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19785, D19818–D19821, D19826–D19830; Turner Bequest CCXVI 117 a, 134–135a, 138–140). There are also a number of fine colour drawings depicting the fortress and neighbouring Coblenz, some of which include: Tate D24804, D24809, D24833, D36138, D36206; Turner Bequest CCLIX 239, 244, 268, CCCLXIV 285, 346. See also Tate D28302D28303; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 6a–7.

Alice Rylance-Watson
December 2015

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