J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Alken and Burg Thurandt, Looking Downstream 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 18 Recto:
Alken and Burg Thurandt, Looking Downstream 1839
Turner Bequest CCXCI 18
Pencil on cream laid writing paper, 100 x 156 mm
Watermarked ‘[v d m[eulen]’
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘alken’ towards bottom right
Inscribed in red ink by Ruskin ‘18’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXCI–18’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This slight sketch shows the town of Alken, situated on the Moselle south of Kobern-Gondorf. The Burg Thurandt presides over Alken from a vertiginous mount at centre. Partly built on Roman foundations, the castle was constructed for the brother of King Otto IV in 1197 to mark his return from the Crusades; and in the twelfth century ownership was passed on to the Archbishops of Trier.1 The spired building seen nestled near the foot of the cliffs is the Michaelskapelle, an ancient chapel dating back to 1015.2
This sketch and that on Tate D28572; Turner Bequest CCXCI 18a formed the basis of a watercolour and gouache drawing of 1839 (Tate D29023; Turner Bequest CCXCII 72).
For other views of Alken and the Burg Thurandt in this sketchbook see Tate D28373–D28377; Turner Bequest CCXCI 19–21. See also the earlier Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19806–D19809; Turner Bequest CCXVI 128–129a).

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

‘Geschichte’, Burg Thurant, accessed 9 August 2013 http://www.thurant.de/GESCHICHTE/tabid/58/language/en-US/Default.aspx
‘Die Michaelskapelle in Alken’, accessed 9 August 2013, http://www.themenweg-zeitreise.de/objekte/kapelle.html

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Alken and Burg Thurandt, Looking Downstream 1839 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-alken-and-burg-thurandt-looking-downstream-r1150855, accessed 22 January 2021.