Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen, from the Belvedere below Laufen Castle 1802
Pencil on white laid paper, 198 x 163 mm
Inscribed probably by John Ruskin in red ink ‘158’ bottom left, and by a later hand in pencil ‘LXXVIII–18’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘LXXVIII 18 bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
David Hill, Turner in the Alps: The Journey through France and Switzerland in 1802, London 1992, pp.150, 169.
Not previously listed or described, this subject was identified by David Hill. It was presumably the last sketch Turner made in the sketchbook and his first impression of the falls which he made a detour to see in the final stages of his 1802 tour. Having passed through Zurich and Baden he turned along the Rhine to Schaffhausen before retracing his steps towards Basle, where he made his last drawings in Switzerland. The view of the falls sketched here was – and indeed remains today – the closest and most dramatic, but as Hill notes, the belvedere is constantly showered with spray. Hence this rapid memorandum was all Turner managed and his other drawings, on larger sheets of paper, were made from drier or more distant viewpoints or from the opposite bank of the river (for example Tate D04875–D04879
; Turner Bequest LXXIX A–E). The belvedere with its wooden platform is clearly seen in Turner’s oil, Fall of the Rhine at Schaffhausen
, painted for the Royal Academy of 1806 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).1
How to cite
David Blayney Brown, ‘The Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen, from the Belvedere below Laufen Castle 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2003, 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-rhine-falls-at-schaffhausen-from-the-belvedere-below-r1133521, accessed 22 October 2019.