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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Burg Lahneck and the Mouth of the Lahn, with the Domed Customs House and the Landing-Stage at Oberlahnstein 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 19 Recto:
Burg Lahneck and the Mouth of the Lahn, with the Domed Customs House and the Landing-Stage at Oberlahnstein 1824
D20157
Turner Bequest CCXVIII 19
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 220 x 291 mm
Inscribed in red ink by Ruskin ‘19’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXVIII–19’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This study, rendered with relative detail, shows the majestic Burg Lahneck, crowning a steep rock above the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine Rivers. The castle dates back to 1226, constructed by the Archbishop of Mainz, Siegfried III of Eppstein, to protect his territories at the mouth of the Lahn.1 By the time of Turner’s visit it had been heavily damaged, besieged in 1633 by Imperial troops during the Thirty Years War.2
In the foreground at left is Oberlahnstein (Upper Lahnstein). A customs tower, identifiable by its ornate dome and lantern, is just visible on the shore in front of a jetty. This tower in turn is adjacent to a legendary tavern, dating back to 1697, where the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe penned a poem inspired by the sight of Lahneck Castle.3 Though the view of this riverside inn is occluded by a few trees and the masts of sailing vessels, taverns such as the Wirtshaus an der Lahn were popular among boatmen, wagon drivers and most probably wayfaring artists like Turner.
1
‘History’, Burg Lahneck, http://www.burg-lahneck.de/html/gb.html, accessed 23 July 2013.
2
Ibid.
3
‘Die Geschichte des Wirstauses an der Lahn’, Wirsthaus an der Lahn, accessed 12 December 2013, http://www.wirtshaus-an-der-lahn.info/wirtshaus.html
Verso:
Blank

Alice Rylance-Watson
December 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Burg Lahneck and the Mouth of the Lahn, with the Domed Customs House and the Landing-Stage at Oberlahnstein 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-burg-lahneck-and-the-mouth-of-the-lahn-with-the-domed-r1174896, accessed 22 January 2021.