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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Drachenfels from the Rhine 1835

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 27 Verso:
The Drachenfels from the Rhine 1835
Turner Bequest CCCIV 27
Pencil on cream laid paper, 118 x 190 mm
Watermark ‘[jan honig & z]onen’
Stamped in black ‘CCCIV–27’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Here Turner records the Drachenfels (‘Dragon’s Rock’) in the Siebengebirge (‘Seven Hills’), Germany. The Drachenfels gained popularity in the romantic era, especially when it appeared in Canto IV of Lord Byron’s narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812–18). Turner visited this part of the Rhine on many occasions throughout his career, depicting the Drachenfels in sketchbooks of 1817, 1824, 1833, 1835, 1839 and 1840. Between 1823 and 1824 the artist produced a finished watercolour of the Drachenfels for Finden’s edition of Lord Byron’s Works published in 1825 and released again in 1833 as part of Finden’s Landscape Illustrations...of Lord Byron.1
For more sketches of the Drachenfels see Tate D12663, D12680, D12756, D12757, D12760–D12763, D12768–D12775, D12860, D12862–D12864, D12866–D12867, D12885, D12887, D19840, D28615–D28617, D28621–D28623, D28625–D28626, D28632, D29663, D29681, D29684–D29685, D29715, D30500–D30510, D30513, D30642–D30643, D30682, D30769, D30791, D34367, D34374; Turner Bequest CLIX 83a, 92, CLX 29a–30, 31a–33, 35a–39, 81a, 82a–83a, 84a, 85, CLXI 2, 3, CCXVI 145, CCXCI 40a–41a, 43a–44a, 45a–46, CCXCVI 18, 34, 44, 45a–46, 61a, CCCIII 22–27, 28a, CCCIV 6a–7, 28, 73, 84a, CCCXLIV 24, 31. See also Tate impression T06180, and other finished watercolours at the Courtauld Gallery, London, and Stanford University, California.2
The watercolour is in the collection of Manchester City Gallery, Manchester; see Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.445 no.1216.
Wilton 1979, p.377 no.666 and p.378 no.675; there is also a watercolour depicting Rolandswerth Nunnery and Drachenfels in a private collection (see Wilton 1979, p.377 no.666).

Alice Rylance-Watson
December 2015

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘The Drachenfels from the Rhine 1835 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-drachenfels-from-the-rhine-r1187059, accessed 20 May 2022.