Joseph Mallord William Turner

(1) (2) Dresden: The Zwinger from beyond the Moat to the North-West with the Hofkirche and Schloss Seen over It and the Crown Gate (Right), the Second with Figures in the Foreground; (3) Details of the Mathematical-Physical Salon and the Crown Gate

1835

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 100 × 159 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30307
Turner Bequest CCCI 6 a

Catalogue entry

These are sketches of aspects of Dresden, capital of Saxony. The view parallel to the long edge of the book shows the Zwinger, a complex of baroque palaces, courtyards and gardens used by the imperial court for entertainment and as a space to exhibit the imperial collection of paintings. Part of the Zwinger is recorded again at bottom left, with figures in the foreground. ‘19’ is inscribed just below one of its long galleries, presumably to show the number of bays. Both sketches include the Crown Gate, a ceremonial entranceway to the Zwinger topped with a large crown decorated with gilt rococo motifs.
At bottom right is a separate group of jottings showing part of the Crown Gate at right and part of the façade of the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon at left. This building houses the scientific and mathematical apparatus collected over centuries by the Electors and Kings of Saxony. The collection includes clocks, terrestrial and celestial globes, optical and astronomical devices as well as instruments for calculating mass, temperature and air pressure.
For more sketches of Dresden see Tate D30296–D30308, D30896–D30900, D31013, D31024–D31042; Turner Bequest CCCI 1–7, CCCVI 6a–9, 65a, CCCVII 3–12.

Alice Rylance-Watson
September 2015

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