Master of light and colour


It was the era of Romantic landscape painting, when William Turner’s works changed the direction and are often described as the beginning of the Impressionist period. The British landscape painter captured his 10 trips to the Rhine in his sketchbooks, before transforming them into his inimitable Turner paintings in his London workshop. His selection of colours, how he plays with light and shadow, and his choice of perspectives are still fascinating today.

Painter Armin Thommes now has his workshop in St Goar-Biebernheim directly opposite the Lorelei, which featured in several of Turner’s paintings. The historian in Thommes had the idea of following more closely in the footsteps of the Romantic painters, especially those left by William Turner along the Rhine between Bingen and Koblenz. He sought out the spots in which Turner stood to sketch his subjects. The result is the 26 spots that make up the William Turner Route.

In each location, a bronze plate set into the ground describes the exact location for the painting. There, you can stand in the footsteps of the famous proponent of Rhine Romanticism. There is also a QR code providing more detailed information about the picture.

Lorelei Rock at St. Goarshausen, Romantic Rhine

Famous Lorelei Rock at St. Goarshausen: one of William Turner's subjects at the Romantic Rhine

The first bronze plate is the Hafen am Hunt in St Goar. From here, Turner sketched Maus Castle and Wellmich Church on his first trip to the Rhine in 1817. At the time, he was 42 years old and a professor of perspective at the Royal Academy in London. He travelled light, with three sketchbooks, three shirts, one nightshirt, an umbrella, a dozen pencils, a paintbox, six neckties, one handkerchief, stockings, a jacket and a razor. And he was well prepared, he followed the advice in the modern tourist guides and noted down some basic German vocabulary.

Stolzenfels Castle at Koblenz, Romantic Rhine

Stolzenfels Castle at Koblenz: one of William Turner's subjects at the Romantic Rhine

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz, Romantic Rhine

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz: one of William Turner's subjects at the Romantic Rhine

After returning in August 1817, Turner used his sketches to produce 51 watercolours for his client Walter Fawkes before the end of the year. They are now in museums and private collections all over the world.

The plates along the William Turner Route between Koblenz and Bingen are gradually being completed, allowing a glance through the painter’s eyes at scenes like Ehrenbreitstein Castle, Stolzenfels Castle or the ‘warring brothers’, as the Castles of Sterrenberg and Liebenstein are known.

More leisure tips for culture lovers at the Romantic Rhine:


More information about holidays in the Romantic Rhine region

Find out everything you need to know on events, attractions and other destinations in the romantic Middle Rhine Valley at Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH.

Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site

The whole region here is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a charming combination of stunning nature and important cultural heritage.

Trip to Koblenz

The only city on both the Rhine and the Moselle: From Deutsches Eck, it is just a short walk to the narrow streets of the old town in Koblenz, past the Romanesque Basilica of St Castor.

Holiday offer: Masterpieces between Rhine and Moselle

from € 199,-

Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH

Holiday offer includes: 2 nights in a good mid-range hotel including breakfast; Entrance to three selected Masterpieces.

Aussenansicht LBZ

Loreley-Besucherzentrum

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Bornich The Loreley Visitor Center was opened in 2000 as an official branch of the Expo in Hanover. In the 6-part exhibition there is information about the…
Festung Ehrenbreitstein

Kulturzentrum Festung Ehrenbreitstein

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Koblenz With a more than 3000-year-old history, reaching back to the Celts, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is already a special feature due to its long period of…
Schloss Stolzenfels

Schloss Stolzenfels

Koblenz Stolzenfels castle is one of the most important works of Prussian Rhine Romanticism.
Blick zur Burg Maus

William Turner Route

St. Goar The »William Turner Route« A total of 26 sites between Koblenz and Bingen mark important waypoints on Turner’s journey through the Upper Middle Rhine…
Loreleyfelsen

Loreleyfelsen

St. Goarshausen A visit to the Lorelei rock is certainly one of the very special experiences of every Rhine tourist.The 125 m high rock (193.14m above sea level) has…
Burg Liebenstein

Burg Liebenstein

Kamp-Bornhofen Together with the neighbouring castle, Liebenstein is one of the most famous of the Rhine castles, not least because of the legend of the “Feuding…
Marksburg

Marksburg

Braubach Erected in the 13th century, Marksburg Castle towers high above the river and is both a landmark and the showpiece of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site…
Luftbild Deutsches Eck

Deutsches Eck mit Kaiserdenkmal

Koblenz German Corner is a promontory which juts out into the water, replacing the harbour which was once situated at the point where the Moselle joins the…
Frontansicht

Landesmuseum Koblenz

Koblenz The State Museum has permanent collections documenting important aspects of the region’s technological developments as well as its economic and social…
Burg Sterrenberg

Burg Sterrenberg

Kamp-Bornhofen The “white castle” is the older of the two “Feuding Brothers”. Built in 1190 and known as castrum Sterrenberg, it is one of the oldest hilltop castles…
Pfalzgrafenstein mit Fähre

Pfalzgrafenstein

Kaub A popular subject for photographers the world over! The French writer Victor Hugo was once impressed by this castle in the form of a stone ship with a…