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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Junction of the Rivers Lahn and Rhine, Looking up the Rhine to Burg Lahneck, Oberlahnstein and Schloss Stolzenfels; Ehrenbreitstein, Looking Downstream 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 39 Recto:
The Junction of the Rivers Lahn and Rhine, Looking up the Rhine to Burg Lahneck, Oberlahnstein and Schloss Stolzenfels; Ehrenbreitstein, Looking Downstream 1840
D30532
Turner Bequest CCCIII 38
Pencil on flecked pale blue laid paper, 104 x 170 mm
Partial watermark (countermark): indecipherable maker’s name
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘38’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCCIII – 38’ bottom left, descending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There are two drawings, made with the page turned horizontally both ways. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 the outer shows the confluence of the Rivers Lahn and Rhine, south-west upriver with Burg Lahneck above Oberlahnstein (now, with Niederlahnstein, united as Lahnstein) on the left, and Schloss Stolzenfels on the right. The other way up, towards the gutter, is the Ehrenbreitstein fortress, above the east bank about five miles downstream opposite the confluence with the Mosel at Coblenz. For Turner’s many other Ehrenbreitstein views, see under Tate D28957 (Turner Bequest CCXCII 10), a contemporary watercolour study on grey paper.
Powell has noted that Turner neared the end of this tour following ‘the familiar route of the Rhine between Mainz and Cologne. He almost certainly travelled by steamer, ... sketching most of the well-known sights perfunctorily as he passed.’2 Given that this sketchbook was used in reverse of its subsequent foliation, she has specified the overall range of this phase as ‘TB CCCIII 68v–20v; 11r’,3 indicating folios 12 recto and 21 verso–69 verso (D30479, D30497–D30592; Turner Bequest CCCIII 20a–68a); see this book’s Introduction for the full itinerary of this part of the journey.
The Lahn and Burg Lahneck are also shown on folios 39 verso and 40 recto (D30533–D30534; CCCIII 38a, 39), and Schloss Stolzenfels is seen again on folio 41 verso (D30537; CCCIII 40a). The landmarks along this part of the Rhine were the subject of many interconnected sketches on other occasions. For other views featuring the Lahn, see the 1817 Waterloo and Rhine sketchbook (Tate D12811; Turner Bequest CLX 57), the 1824 Trèves and Rhine sketchbook (D20155–D20160; CCXVIII 17–22), the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine sketchbook (D29660; CCXCVI 32a), and the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (D28448, D28526; CCXC 49a, 86). There is also an undated pencil study on grey paper, showing Niederlahnstein with the mouth of the Lahn (D34100; CCCXLI 378).
For Burg Lahneck, see also the 1817 Itinerary Rhine Tour, Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine books (D12657, D12659; CLIX 80a, 81a; D12808, D12811–D12812, D12851; CLX 55a, 57, 57a, 77; D12904–D12907, D12910–D12911, D12973, D12979–D12980; CLXI 12a–14, 16a, 17, 48a, 51a, 52), the 1824 Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Trèves and Rhine books (D19829, D19831, D19833–D19834; CCXVI 139a, 140a, 141a, 142; D20155–D20157, D20159; CCXVIII 17–19, 21), Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine (D29660, D29667–D29668; CCXCVI 32a, 36a, 37), and Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence (D28448, D28450–D28453, D28524, D28526, D28528; CCXC 49a, 50a–52, 85, 86, 87).
For other views of Oberlahnstein, see the Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine books (D12810, D12882; CLX 56a, 93; D12904–D12907, D12910–D12911, D12914–D12915, D12973, D12975, D12977–D12980; CLXI 12a–14, 16a, 17, 19a, 20, 48a, 49a, 50a–52), Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Trèves and Rhine (D19833; CCXVI 141a; D20157, D20159–D20160; CCXVIII 19, 21, 22), Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine (D29652, D29660, D29667, D29703–D29704; CCXCVI 28a, 32a, 36a, 55a, 56), Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence (D28451–D28452, D28524; CCXC 51, 51a, 85), and the 1841 Rhine and Switzerland sketchbook (D32864; CCCXXV 60a). There is also an 1817 watercolour, Oberlahnstein (British Museum, London).4
For Schloss Stolzenfels, see also the Itinerary Rhine Tour, Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine books (D12654; CLIX 79; D12808, D12810, D12812, D12882; CLX 55a, 56a, 57a, 93; D12904–D12907, D12909, D12914–D12915, D12973, D12975, D12977–D12980; CLXI 12a–14, 16, 19a, 20, 48a, 49a, 50a–52), Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Trèves and Rhine (D19829, D19831; CCXVI 139a, 140a; D20140, D20158–D20160; CCXVIII 2, 20–22), Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine (D29652, D29660, D29667, D29703–D29704; CCXCVI 28a, 32a, 36a, 55a, 56), and Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence (D28449, D28525, D28527–D28528; CCXC 50, 85a, 86a, 87).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Powell 1995, p.246.
2
Ibid., p.72.
3
Ibid., p.82 note 70.
4
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.376 no.654, reproduced.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Junction of the Rivers Lahn and Rhine, Looking up the Rhine to Burg Lahneck, Oberlahnstein and Schloss Stolzenfels; Ehrenbreitstein, Looking Downstream 1840 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, December 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-junction-of-the-rivers-lahn-and-rhine-looking-up-the-r1196290, accessed 05 March 2021.