Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Sketch Map of Part of the River Main; an Interior Wall of the Walhalla, at Donaustauf near Regensburg; Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg; Details of a Classical Roof; Studies of Headdresses


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 198 × 126 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

Turner used this paste-down both horizontally and vertically for a variety of sketches and notes. His inscription at the top, ‘6 Florins for trunk by Route to’, continues across folio 1 recto opposite (D31277): ‘Coburg – 17 Sepr’. Below, in an unknown hand is the related note ‘f.6 – von Bamberg bis Coburg’, again continuing on the other page: ‘alles inbegriffen. Stephan’ This was presumably information provided by a local German-speaker, perhaps the ‘Stephan’ whose name comes last, or someone recommending what translates as his all-inclusive service.
Immediately below this is a very rough sketch map indicating the course of the River Main, with ‘Frank’, ‘Wurzbg’, ‘Sinfurt’, ‘Cob’ and ‘Bam’ from west to east in Turner’s writing, signifying Frankfurt, Würzburg, Schweinfurt, Coburg and Bamberg. The ‘6 or 7 [...]’ to the right may refer to a distance or travelling time. There are numerous views of Bamberg (see under folio 19 recto; D31312) and in and around Coburg (see under folio 1 verso; D31278) in the present sketchbook, and just one from a hotel in Würzburg, on folio 51 recto (D31376), under which his extensive survey of the city in the contemporary Würzburg, Rhine and Ostend sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCCIII) is noted.
Although there are views of Frankfurt in the 1835 Prague, Nuremburg, Frankfurt and Rhine sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCCIV), Turner did not linger there on this occasion. There are no identified views between Würzburg and the lengthy series as he made for home down the Rhine beginning roughly twenty miles west of the confluence at Mainz, although Turner could well have gone via Frankfurt. Likewise, there are no identified views of Schweinfurt, although he may have passed through in travelling south-west from Coburg to Würzburg.
At the outer edge is a slight study of what Cecilia Powell has identified as an interior wall of the Greek temple-style Walhalla monument,1 then nearing completion at Donaustauf near Regensburg. There are indications of structural articulation and perhaps decoration; compare a contemporary chalk and pencil drawing on a separate sheet of grey paper (Tate D34084; Turner Bequest CCCXLI 363), with clearer indications of the cavernous interior and perhaps some of the busts and statues of great Germans it was built to display. There are also two related thumbnail sketches of ‘a classical roof’,2 possibly also at the Walhalla. For numerous other contemporary views of the building and Donaustauf in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 33 verso (D31341).3

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Powell 1995, p.242.
See also ibid., pp.70, 82 note 53.
See ibid., p.242.

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