Do you own documentary watercolours from before 1900? Share them here.

© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)
© Tate, London 2019 | Licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)

Rheinfelden from the North-West


Joseph Mallord William Turner

From the collection


Rheinfelden from the North-West




When Ruskin eventually visited Rheinfelden for himself in 1858, he was quick to notice how Turner had improved on reality. He remarked in a letter to his father that these sketches were 'all very like except only that the town, which Turner has made about the size of Strasburg, consists of one street and a few lanes, and what he has drawn as mountains are only the wooded Jura, but pretty in shape'. Ruskin used nos.87 and 89 as illustrations for his discussion of Turnerian topography in the fifth volume of 'Modern Painters', and considered the latter study 'Exquisitely beautiful'. On the other hand, he viewed no.90 as 'a thoroughly bad sketch (for Turner); every way slovenly and substanceless'.
Gallery label, February 1995

Medium: Graphite, watercolour and pen on paper
Credit line: 'Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856'

For full details please visit the collection website.


TWW try to keep the information on this page up to date. However, for the most accurate information you should always consult the owning collection

From the Watercolour World


Rheinbrucke, Rheinfelden, Switzerland



Location Accuracy




Spotted an error? Let us know: enq[email protected]

Leave a comment

Do you know more about this painting and the story behind it? Please share your thoughts below.