William Turner - Site 19: Bacharach
Bacharach (Watercolour sketch, circa 1830) ©Victoria & Albert Museum, London/Bridgeman Images
  • William Turner - Site 19: Bacharach
  • Footpath at the end of Bacharach, view of Bacharach
Installation complete

Footpath at the end of Bacharach, view of Bacharach

In this watercolour sketch Turner records the main architectural contours of Bacharach. The castle, the church, the monastery and the town’s towers all appear in their actual positions. There was good reason for this, as the watercolour served as the basis for an engraving for an illustrated edition of the Life and Works of Lord Byron. It was subsequently bought by John Ruskin, Turner’s most prominent apologist. In other watercolours and sketches of the town he rearranges the buildings, setting them close together to achieve a particularly imposing effect. This watercolour is also a good example of Turner’s efforts to dissolve contours and representations in expanses of colour.

Watercolour sketch, circa 1830
Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: 229 x 276 mm
Collection: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center; Turner Worldwide
Reference: TW1263; Wilton 1222


Many people consider Bacharach to be the capital of Rhine Romanticism. Heinrich Heine, Clemens Brentano and Victor Hugo all stayed in this historic town.


Hiking: The RheinBurgenWeg hiking trail can be reached via the steep access path to Stahleck Castle in approx. 15 min.

Installation complete

Address: Rhine riverbank, Bacharach

Site: The Turner plaque is located at the southern end of the narrow road along the riverbank between the campsite and the Rhine

Public Transport: Bacharach railway station: approx. 5 min. walk

By bike: Slight detour from the Rheinradweg cycle route: approx. 1 min.

Parking: Paid parking available nearby