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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Boppard c.1819-20

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Boppard c.1819–20
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 259
Watercolour on white wove paper, 186 x 295 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Inscribed in red ink ‘259’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 259’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This colour study reprises the subject of the 1817 watercolour Boppard (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven),1 which Turner had sold to Walter Fawkes among many other River Rhine subjects soon after his return from the Continent (see the Introduction to this section).2 Assuming a second finished version was ever made, it is now untraced and the present sheet is the only evidence of such an intention. Turner only sets out the basic structure and mood here, with the wall and Sandtor gateway silhouetted against the rain-swept hills downstream to the north-west, omitting the steeples of the town to the left and the busy quayside scene with figures and boats in the foreground. The scene is now much changed, only the lower part of the gateway surviving, hidden by later trees and buildings.3
Watercolours of German scenes echoing the Fawkes series were produced for various patrons around the turn of the decade; Cecilia Powell has directly related the present subject to a projected series of thirty-six planned for a book of Rhine views planned in 1819 but soon abandoned owing to the chance appearance of a similar scheme from another publisher (see the Introduction to this section).4
Powell notes that the present work shares a palette of ‘blues, yellows and soft greens’ with a contemporary colour study of Burg Sooneck and Bacharach (Tate D25242; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 120),5 some twenty miles to the south-east up the river.
Wilton 1979, pp.375–6 no.652, as ‘Boppart’, reproduced.
See Perkins 1990, p.34, Powell 1991, p.107, Shanes 1997, p.97.
See Powell 1991, p.107.
Ibid.; see also Powell 1995, p.29.
Powell 1991, p.107.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘63’ right of centre, ascending vertically; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII | 259’ bottom right; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII – 259’ towards bottom left.

Matthew Imms
July 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Boppard c.1819–20 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, February 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-boppard-r1184344, accessed 21 April 2024.