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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Thun, with Castle and Church from the Lake 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Recto:
Thun, with Castle and Church from the Lake 1802
Turner Bequest LXXVI 6
Pencil on white laid paper, 156 x 201 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘6’ bottom right, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘LXXVI 6’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
From Berne, where he bought this sketchbook, Turner travelled down the valley of the Aare to Thun, where the river flows into the western end of Lake Thun. David Hill notes that the journey of some seventeen miles would have been ‘an easy three-hour drive’ and that Turner would have lunched at the main inn, the Freyenhof, before exploring the town and its surroundings.1 This very slight sketch looking back to Thun would have been made as Turner set off by boat along the lake towards Unterseen. The twelfth-century castle with its distinctive corner turrets and the tower of the Protestant church are the only buildings recognisable. For the view of Thun showing both these buildings from downstream, adopted for the Liber Studiorum, see folio 48 of this sketchbook (D04705); there is a more detailed and closer view of the town in the St Gothard and Mont Blanc sketchbook (Tate D04622; Turner Bequest LXXV 30).
David Hill, Turner in the Alps. The Journey through France and Switzerland in 1802, London 1992, p.109.

David Blayney Brown
March 2004

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Thun, with Castle and Church from the Lake 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-thun-with-castle-and-church-from-the-lake-r1133129, accessed 16 January 2022.