Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bamberg, with the Michaelsberg, the Cathedral, the Obere Pfarrkirche, St Stephan and St Jakob

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31408
Turner Bequest CCCX 67

Catalogue entry

There are two related drawings here, made with the page turned horizontally. Expanding on Turner’s ‘Bamberg’ inscription, Cecilia Powell identified the various landmarks.1 On the left, looking slightly north of east, are the twin west spires of the Michaelsberg church rising over its abbey buildings; the Baroque spire of St Jakob’s Church, at about the same distance to the south-east, frames the view on the right. The four spires of the cathedral are clustered in the distance, with the tall tower of the Obere Pfarrkirche and spire of St Stephan’s to their right.
The exact viewpoint is uncertain, but the profile of an onion dome at the left-hand edge suggests St Getreu’s Church, on what is now Sankt-Getreu-Strasse. The buildings below it do not appear to have survived in this form, what may be a fountain or shrine in the foreground is no longer evident, and a clear view to the right is precluded by modern buildings and trees. There is a thumbnail version of the same scene at the top right, from further off, with trees on both sides. For numerous other Bamberg views in this sketchbook, see under folio 19 recto (D31312).2

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, p.244.
2
See also ibid., pp.71, 82 note 58.

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