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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Traben, Trarbach and the Grevenburg, Looking Downstream 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 25 Recto:
Traben, Trarbach and the Grevenburg, Looking Downstream 1824
Turner Bequest CCXIX 25
Pencil, chalk and watercolour on white wove paper, 160 x 235 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘25’ by Ruskin bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXIX–25’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With fine and agile handling, Turner has pictured the towns of Traben on the left bank of the Moselle and Trarbach on the right. Highlighted in chalk, the profile of the majestic ruined Castle of Grevenburg can be seen at centre crowning a conical mount.
The Grevenburg was constructed in 1350 by Count Johann III of Sponheim-Starkenburg but was later conquered in 1680 by Louis XIV of France and extended, together with the fort of Mont Royal, as part of the King’s artillery.1 The castle was besieged on a number of occasions between 1702 and 1730 and was finally destroyed by the French in 1734.2 The hollowed remains of Grevenburg’s western wall and keep are largely intact, though huge swathes of its masonry have plunged into the valley beneath.
Turner recorded both towns and the Grevenburg on Tate D20191; Turner Bequest CCXIX 30 and in the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook of 1824 (Tate D19764–D19766, D19768, D19770; Turner Bequest CCXVI 109–109, 110, 111). See also the gouache and watercolour drawings of Traben and Trarbach produced following the 1839 Meuse-Moselle tour (Tate D20223, D20234, D20240, D20259; Turner Bequest CCXX P, CCXXI A, G, Z).
‘Grevenburg Castle Ruins’, Mosel Treffpunkt: Traben-Trabach, accessed 27 November 2013, http://www.traben-trarbach.de/nextshopcms/show.asp?lang=en&e1=994

Alice Rylance-Watson
November 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Traben, Trarbach and the Grevenburg, Looking Downstream 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-traben-trarbach-and-the-grevenburg-looking-downstream-r1174928, accessed 27 June 2022.