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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Coblenz and Ehrenbreitstein c.1841-2

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
?Coblenz and Ehrenbreitstein c.1841–2
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 26
Watercolour on paper, 219 x 288 mm
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX-26’ bottom right
Inscribed in red ink ‘26’ bottom right
Stamped with Turner Bequest monogram lower right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is one of thirteen loose sheets found grouped together, a number of which are believed to be ideas for compositions relating to the life of Napoleon; for more information see the Introduction to this section.
An indistinct colour study, this sheet may be a view of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, which has been identified as the subject of a number of other studies in this section (Tate D27544, D27549, D27553, D27555; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 27, 32, 36, 38). Like them, it appears to indicate Coblenz on the left and Ehrenbreitstein on the right, with the Bridge of Boats, which Turner had seen during his first tour of the Rhine, or later bridge of wooden pontoons (which replaced it in 18191) in the foreground. For an earlier sketch possibly taken from a similar viewpoint see Tate D30806 (Turner Bequest CCIV 92 a).
Although Turner visited the Rhine a number of times during his later career, Cecilia Powell has argued that his initial tour of the area in 1817, during which he witnessed the destruction caused by the still recent Napoleonic Wars, continued to shape his depictions of the region.2 Ehrenbreitstein, a fortress strategically placed to guard the middle Rhine region, was reconstructed between 1817 and 1828 following the destruction of the earlier fortress by Napoleon’s troops in 1801.
Cecilia Powell, Turner in Germany, London 1995, p.12.
Ibid, pp.55–6.
Technical notes:
Small spots of concentrated black and blue pigment are present.
Blank save for inscriptions: inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXXX 26’ lower right.

Elizabeth Jacklin
September 2018

How to cite

Elizabeth Jacklin, ‘?Coblenz and Ehrenbreitstein c.1841–2 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2018, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-coblenz-and-ehrenbreitstein-r1195844, accessed 17 July 2024.