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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Lake of Brienz with Ringgenberg Castle 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 17 Verso:
The Lake of Brienz with Ringgenberg Castle 1802
Turner Bequest LXXVII 17a
Pencil on white wove paper, 154 x 240 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Ringenberg’ top right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner inverted the sketchbook to make this sketch. Together with another sketch on folio 23 verso (D04761), this served as the basis of the watercolour Chateau de Rinkenberg, on the Lac de Brientz, Switzerland, which Turner made in 1809 for Walter Fawkes (Taft Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio).1 Fawkes’s first documented purchase of a work by Turner was the watercolour Glacier and Source of the Arveron, Going up to the Mer de Glace (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff),2 from the Royal Academy in 1803. He went on to acquire almost all the watercolours that Turner made from his 1802 material until as late as 1820. Turner made an intermediate drawing of the Ringgenberg view in his Grenoble series (Tate D04539; Turner Bequest LXXIV 46), from which Fawkes may have chosen the subject. Turner saw the castle, on the north shore of the lake facing west towards Unterseen, on a day’s excursion by boat from Brienz. He spent a day or two in the town after visiting the Reichenbach falls, for which see folio 27 of this sketchbook (D04766), and Meiringen before moving on to Lucerne.

David Blayney Brown
March 2004

Wilton 1979, pp.343–4 no.388; for possible re-identifications, retitling and redating of some of Fawkes’s Turner watercolours of the Alps see Eric Shanes, ‘Identifying Turner’s Chamonix water-colours’, The Burlington Magazine, vol.142, no.1172, November 2000, p.694.
Ibid., p.341 no.365.

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The Lake of Brienz with Ringgenberg Castle 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2004, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-lake-of-brienz-with-ringgenberg-castle-r1133456, accessed 24 June 2024.