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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Prague, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Rhine sketchbook 1835

CCCIV 1–103
Sketchbook bound in boards covered with hand-coated navy and pink marbled paper; spine and vertical edging on front and back covered with dark grey/brown canvas; fore-edges painted with red pigment
Four loops of thick cream parchment for holding pencils or fastening (two affixed to top and centre of inside front cover; two affixed to centre and bottom of inside back cover).
Signed by H.S. Trimmer and Charles Turner in black ink and inscribed ‘No 249 | Containing 98 Leaves – | Pencil Sketches all on both Sides’ (Tate D30633; Turner Bequest CCCIV 1)
Signed in pencil by Charles Locke Eastlake ‘C.L.E.’ and John Prescott Knight ‘JPK’ (Tate D30633; Turner Bequest CCCIV 1)
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards top left of front cover and again at centre towards top left of Tate D30633; Turner Bequest CCCIV 1
Stamped in black ‘CCCIV’ top right of front cover
Stamped in black ‘CCCIV’ top left of inside front cover pastedown
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCCIV’ and ‘5 101’ top right of Tate D30633; Turner Bequest CCCIV 1
103 leaves of cream laid paper with front and rear pastedowns of similar paper
Watermark: Lion of the Seven Provinces | ‘jh&z’ and ‘jan honig & zonen’
Approximate size of paper 190 x 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner spent several days in Prague in late September 1835. Forty pages of sketches depict the artist’s peregrinations in the Bohemian capital, most of them taken from higher ground: on the Hradcany, looking down to the Vltava, the Charles Bridge and across to the Old Town, or on Petrín Hill, looking towards the imperial castle and cathedral.
The first stop on Turner’s homeward journey was Nuremberg: one of the most important cities in the Holy Roman Empire and a few centuries earlier the home of Albrecht Dürer. Turner records Dürer’s half-timbered house on folio 46a (Tate D30718; Turner Bequest CCCIV 46a). Stopping briefly at Frankfurt, the artist then sailed down the River Main to meet the Rhine at Mainz. Travelling in the direction of Cologne, this stretch of the Rhine was by now very familiar to him. He had sketched its ruined cliff-top castles and picturesque riverside towns on three major tours, in 1817, 1824 and 1833. From Cologne Turner continued on the Rhine to Rotterdam, probably via steamer packet. This sketchbook contains drawings taken as far down the river as Loevestein and Gorinchem, near Dordrecht in the Netherlands.

Alice Rylance-Watson
October 2016

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How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Prague, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Rhine sketchbook 1835’, sketchbook, October 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/prague-nuremberg-frankfurt-and-rhine-sketchbook-r1187014, accessed 03 March 2021.