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Ehrenbreitstein from the Mosel 1839

Not on display

This is the final view in a series Turner made showing the River Mosel, from Trier to the junction with the Rhine at Coblenz. It is based on a pencil drawing created during his second Mosel tour in 1839. Natural and man-made features glisten in the sunlight. The blue paper serves to intensify the rich colours Turner used. It also prompted him to apply opaque body-colour, that is, watercolour mixed with white, to capture the atmospheric light effects rather than just exploit the translucency of pure watercolour. Two boats spaced apart, one on either bank, provide a sense of scale.

Glossary Open


Usually refers to watercolour mixed with white pigment that retains the fluidity of watercolour but without the transparency. The term gouache is also used.


Something that is not clear, or which does not transmit or reflect light. It can also specifically refer to pigments used to darken areas of photographs.


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Body-colour, Opaque, Watercolour


  • Acc. No. D NG 879
  • Medium Bodycolour on blue paper
  • Size 13.80 x 18.90 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900