The principal sketch shows Berlin’s Unter den Linden, and encompasses the University entrance gate at left, the Zeughaus (Old Arsenal), and Opera House at right. At bottom right Turner has copied the inscription on the Opera House’s portico. It reads: ‘Fridericus Rex Apolloni et Musis’, a dedication ensuring that the people of Berlin drew the appropriate connections between the monarch who erected the building, Frederick the Great (1712–86), and Apollo (god of music). The statue seen close to the steps of the Opera House is of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (1742–1819), the Prussian general who led his army against Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig (1813) and Waterloo (1815).
At top left is the façade of the Opera House and part of the dome of St Hedwigskirche. At top right is a view of St Hedwigskirche with the steps of the Opera House and the Royal Library. Turner has made note of the number of bays on the Opera House as ‘5’ and ‘7’, as well as the number of columns: ‘6 Doric ½ the W[idth]’.
For other sketches of Berlin see Tate D21045–D31082; Turner Bequest CCCVII 13a–32.
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