Joseph Mallord William Turner

Arnsdorf and Spitz on the River Danube; Schloss Greinburg


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 15 a

Catalogue entry

Both ways up, there are various views here, drawn one above the other and continuing to and fro across folio 16 recto opposite (D30032). Cecilia Powell has characterised the drawings in the present sketchbook as generally less refined than those in the 1833 Salzburg and Danube book (Tate; Turner Bequest CCC);1 in discussing folios 14 verso–16 recto (D30029–D30032),2 she has observed: ‘Sometimes the cause is accounted for by Turner himself, as in the group of sketches of the Wachau’, the Danube valley between Krems and Melk, marked ‘“begun in the moonlight at St Michael’s” [on folio 14 verso; D30029]; the adjacent pages of rugged silhouettes have an eerie quality wholly consistent with night-time on the river.’3
The subjects include Rossatz-Arnsdorf, near Krems (for other views, see under D30029), and Spitz, south-west up the river from there; see under the recto (D30030). The slightly stronger drawing at the top has been identified by Powell as showing the imposing Schloss Greinburg,4 north-west of the tight bend at Grein, over thirty miles on from Spitz. See also folios 16 verso, 17 recto and 31 verso (D30033–D30034, D30059), and the 1833 Salzburg and Danube sketchbook (Tate D30247–D30250; Turner Bequest CCC 59a–61).
Although Turner’s route upriver was straightforward, his somewhat haphazard use of this book to record it was not. For the geographical sequence of identified views between Vienna and Passau (see under folios 40 recto and 31 recto; D30076, D30058), see this sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Powell 1995, p.68.
Ibid., p.81 note 30.
Ibid., p.68.
Ibid., p.241.

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