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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Mouth of the River Lahn with St John's Church, Niederlahnstein, and Burg Lahneck, on the River Rhine 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 39 Verso:
The Mouth of the River Lahn with St John’s Church, Niederlahnstein, and Burg Lahneck, on the River Rhine 1840
Turner Bequest CCCIII 38a
Pencil on flecked pale blue laid paper, 104 x 170 mm
Partial watermark (countermark): indecipherable maker’s name
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 it shows the mouth of the River Lahn where it flows into the Rhine from the east, with Burg Lahneck high above the confluence, and the riverside spire of the Johanniskirche at Niederlahnstein (now part of Lahnstein) below to the left. There is a similar view on folio 40 recto opposite (D30534; Turner Bequest CCCIII 39).
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.
For other Niederlahnstein views, see the 1817 Waterloo and Rhine and Rhine sketchbooks (respectively Tate D12811; Turner Bequest CLX 57; D12904–D12907, D12973, D12975, D12978–D12980; CLXI 12a–14, 48a, 49a, 51–52), the 1824 Rivers Meuse and Moselle and Trèves and Rhine sketchbooks (D19834; CCXVI 142; D20160; CCXVIII 22), the 1833 Brussels up to Mannheim – Rhine sketchbook (D29660; CCXCVI 32a), and the 1839 Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence sketchbook (D28448–D28453, D28526, D28528; CCXC 49a–52, 86, 87). There is also an undated pencil study on grey paper, showing Niederlahnstein with the mouth of the Lahn (D34100; CCCXLI 378).
For River Lahn and Burg Lahneck views in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 39 recto (D30532; CCCIII 38).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, p.246.
Ibid., p.72.
Ibid., p.82 note 70.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Mouth of the River Lahn with St John’s Church, Niederlahnstein, and Burg Lahneck, on the River Rhine 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-mouth-of-the-river-lahn-with-st-johns-church-r1196291, accessed 14 May 2021.