About this artwork

The Scottish National Gallery has the only set of Turner’s literary vignettes for ‘The Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell’. Campbell had visited the Drachenfels, a mountain near Bonn in Germany, in 1820. He was deeply moved by the view and by the experience of reading the 'Song of Roland' on this dramatic spot. Turner has set the moment in Campbell's own poem when Aude, in despair at rumours of Roland's death, enters a nunnery. As she takes the veil Roland's horn is heard. Although Turner had made sketches on his visits to Rolandseck, there are none which show this view which sets the events against the backdrop of the Drachenfels and the tower which Roland was supposed to have built after Aude died so that he could look out into the convent from the lighted window.

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  • title:
    One of Twenty Vignettes - The Brave Roland
  • accession number:
    D 5167
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Watercolour over pencil on paper
  • date created:
    About 1835
  • measurements:
    12.00 x 11.50 cm
  • credit line:
    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Gallery of Scotland, 1988

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner