Joseph Mallord William Turner

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


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 198 × 127 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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

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

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