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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Reichenbach Falls 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 13 Recto:
The Reichenbach Falls 1802
Turner Bequest LXXV 13
Pencil and black chalk with scratching out on white wove paper prepared with grey wash, 315 x 473 mm
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in blue ink ‘6’ bottom right and ‘13’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘LXXV 13’ bottom left, descending vertically, and again bottom right
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Turner’s label for this drawing is inscribed ‘Cascade de Riqenbac. Swiss’. It is numbered ‘6’, as is the drawing. He also listed ‘Fall of the Riquenbach’ among subjects commissioned, in hand or ‘done’ at the front of his album of 1802 dawings (see Technical notes to the Grenoble sketchbook; Tate, Turner Bequest LXXIV).
The Reichenbach Falls, near Meiringen, greatly impressed Turner. He favoured the dramatic upper section of the falls which tumbles down a rock face worn concave by the water. As well as the sketch in the smaller Rhine, Strassburg and Oxford sketchbook that was perhaps his first impression of the site (Tate D04766; Turner Bequest LXXVII 27) he made this larger drawing and two coloured studies (Courtauld Gallery, London and National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin), both of which were used for finished watercolours made for Walter Fawkes (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut1 and Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford).2 Both the Courtauld and Dublin studies were once thought to have come from this sketchbook, but Peter Bower has recognised that the first, at least, is on a different paper that Turner used for larger drawings during the 1802 tour. See Introduction and Technical notes to the sketchbook.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.344 no.396.
Ibid., p.341 no.367.
Inscribed by an unknown hand in pencil ‘242’

David Blayney Brown
October 2011

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The Reichenbach Falls 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-reichenbach-falls-r1146483, accessed 22 May 2019.