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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Fortifications on the Rhine c.1841-2

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
?Fortifications on the Rhine c.1841–2
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 34
Chalk and watercolour on paper, 215 x 290 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘?Len and [..?]’ lower right
Stamped in blank ‘CCLXXX-34’ bottom right
Inscribed in red ink ‘34’ bottom right
Stamped with the 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.
This study, which is not obviously a Napoleonic subject, differs from the other sheets catalogued in this section due to the more extensive use of coloured chalk. Turner’s inscription has as yet proven illegible and the subject has not been identified. The Turner Bequest’s first cataloguer, A.J. Finberg, provided the title ‘Sunset’1, while more recently the art historian Jan Piggott catalogued it as ‘Alps with town. Illegible place names.’2
The sheet may be an Alpine scene as Piggott suggests; more specifically a Rhineland scene seems possible given the presence of a number of views of the area around Coblenz and Ehrenbreitstein that have been identfiied within this grouping (see Tate D27543–D27544, D27549, D27553, D27555; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 26–27, 32, 36, 38).
Finberg 1909, p.893.
Piggott 1993, p.95.
Blank, save for inscriptions: inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXXX-34’ lower right

Elizabeth Jacklin
September 2018

How to cite

Elizabeth Jacklin, ‘?Fortifications on the Rhine 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-fortifications-on-the-rhine-r1195852, accessed 24 July 2024.