Schloss Rosenau, Seat of HRH Prince Albert of Coburg

WAG 309


Turner may have been hoping to secure a royal sale with this view of Prince Albert’s family home. He visited Coburg on the way back from Venice in 1840. The painting illustrates Turner’s keen interest in light. Here he has caught the brilliant glare of the sun and its reflection on the water’s surface. The landscape almost dissolves in its rays. Critics at the time failed to appreciate the painting. They criticised it for being ‘indistinct’ and dubbed it the product of ‘a diseased and reckless hand.’ The castle of Rosenau in Bavaria, Southern Germany, was the family home of Prince Albert. Turner went to sketch it in 1840. He used the sketches as the basis of this oil painting which was exhibited in 1841, the year Prince Albert married Queen Victoria. Turner hoped the royal couple would buy it, but he was disappointed. Perhaps they would have preferred a more detailed, less poetical view. It is a tranquil vision, with the castle on the right shown in soft focus, absorbed in the sunlit haze.