Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Church Tower among Mountains; a Gorge; the Top of St Stephen’s Cathedral Spire, Vienna

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 198 × 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30077
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 40 a

Catalogue entry

The main two scenes here, one above the other, were likely recorded between Graz (see under folio 41 verso; D30079) and Vienna (see under folio 40 recto; D30076). In the upper one a church spire is seen against a steep, rugged slope, possibly with a castle high on the skyline. Below is a narrow gorge with what may be a fortified building. Compare the views on folio 41 recto opposite (D30078).
Towards the bottom right, at right-angles to the two landscape sketches, is a detail of the upper stages of Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral’s south transept spire, as identified by Cecilia Powell, continued from the full-page view on the recto (D30076), under which other views are noted.1
Turner would have temporarily rolled back the outer edge of the leaf half-way across this side to align it and complete the subject here; a corresponding slight crease remains evident about a third of the way in.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See also Powell 1995, pp.66, 81 notes 24 and 26, 241.

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore

You might like