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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence Sketchbook 1839

Turner Bequest CCXC 1–91a
Sketchbook quarter-bound in boards covered with brown and white marbled paper, with brown leather spine and corners and two loops made of the same marbled paper on back cover to hold a pencil or fastening
White paper label affixed to top of front cover inscribed in pen and black ink by Turner:
‘No 1 Brussels up to Givet’ | ‘2. Givet Mis Ver Metz Lux Treves’ | ‘3. First Mossel and Oxford’ | ‘4. Mayence Wis Coblenz and 2 Mosel to Cochem’ | ‘5. Cockum to Cob. Home’
Inscribed in black ink by Turner with four short vertical lines on upper fore-edge and ‘4’ on top left of front cover
Signed and inscribed by Charles Turner in black ink ‘No 338 Contains | 91 Leaves Pencil Sketches | all on both sides’ and signed in pencil by Charles Locke Eastlake ‘C.L.E.’ and by John Prescott Knight ‘JPK’ all at bottom of inside front cover
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom centre of white label on front cover and at bottom left of inside front cover pastedown
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCXC’ towards bottom right of white label on front cover and towards bottom left of inside front cover pastedown
Stamped in black ‘CCXC’ at top left of inside front cover pastedown
91 leaves of flecked off-white wove paper, double-faced mould
No watermark present
Approximate size of page 163 x 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is the fourth in the group of five sketchbooks Turner used on his 1839 tour. Like the others (with the exception of the British-made First Mossel and Oxford), it is of continental manufacture, having been produced by Ludwig Piette at Dillingen Mill in Saarland, some twenty-five miles south of Trier, Germany.1 The paper is made up of straw, according to the paper historian Peter Bower, because ‘shortages in raw materials’ at the time ‘had led several makers to experiment with the use of other fibres, including straw, either on their own or mixed with rag, as the basis for a range of papers’.2 Bower writes that the paper in this sketchbook ‘bears considerable similarities’ with samples seen in Ludwig Piette’s The Manufacture of Paper from Straw and Many Other Materials in Bulk, published in Cologne in 1832.3
Owing to its dismantling in the nineteenth century, the leaves of this sketchbook are no longer in their original order. Its later reassembly and Finberg’s subsequent Inventory title does not correspond to, and indeed entirely contradicts, Turner’s actual movements on the Moselle on this leg of the tour. 4 Turner himself lists the correct itinerary on the white label affixed to the front cover of CCXCI, which reads: ‘4. Mayence Wis Coblenz and 2 Mosel to Cochem’.
As Cecilia Powell writes, ‘the sketches in this book vary considerably in character and quality’; those of the Moselle are ‘far more careful and detailed than those of the Rhine’.5 This first, more considered, group shows the landscape along the Moselle from Cochem up to Trier (and not the reverse, as is suggested by Finberg’s Inventory title). The Rhenish sketches are ‘executed in a much broader and more expressive style consistent with the fact that Turner was already well acquainted with the places depicted’.6 One drawing belonging to the Rhine group enabled Powell to conclusively redate the tour from 1834, as Finberg had it, to 1839. For more information on the issue of dating and on this leg of the tour, see the general tour Introduction and ‘Itinerary’ section.
Bower 1999, p.63 no.33.
Ibid, pp.63–4 no.33.
Powell 1995, p.63.
Powell 1991, p.129.

Alice Rylance-Watson
July 2013

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How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Trèves to Cochem and Coblenz to Mayence Sketchbook 1839’, sketchbook, July 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/treves-to-cochem-and-coblenz-to-mayence-sketchbook-r1150633, accessed 25 January 2022.