Joseph Mallord William Turner

Castel Sant’Antonio and the Torre Druso (Schloss Klebenstein and Treuenstein), beside the Torrente Talvera (Talferbach) near Bolzano (Bozen)

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 195 × 282 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D36154
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 297

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Castle at Botzen’): ‘Maretsch & Torre Druso’.1 His personal Turner albums include a photograph of this work, inscribed on the back: ‘Prby 1835, return from Venice | V. at Bolzano, from near Runkelstein, looking towards Trent. | C of Maretsch, on Telfer, on left, with the Calvary, Virgl [i.e. Virgolo] & M. Kollern (Monte Colle) beyond. | Torre Druso on right with C. Troienstein – with Sigmondskron [sic] (Firmiano) in m.d., the centre shows the valley of the Adige (Etsch) with Monte Roen in distance’.2
The view is largely as Finberg described it, south along the broad valley of the fast-flowing Torrente Talvera (Talferbach), with the slender Torre Druso (Treuenstein) on the right. However, rather than Castel Mareccio (Schloss Maretsch), the fortress on the left seems to be Castel Sant’Antonio (Schloss Klebenstein), similar but with a more compact and varied roofline. It stands due east of the Torre Druso, here shown lower down and nearer to the Ponte Sant’Antonio (Sankt-Anton-Brücke) than in reality; the banks are now lined with trees. The tower and castle appear to be shown from the other direction in a pencil sketch (D40178) on the back of Tate D36156 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 299), a related colour study of nearby Castel Roncolo (Schloss Runkelstein, as mentioned by Finberg).
Castel Mareccio stands about half a mile south on the same side of the river as Castel Sant’Antonio, and seems to be the subject of a similar study of the valley (Tate D36155; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 298). Bolzano (Bozen), the capital of Alto Adige province (otherwise Südtirol or South Tyrol) on the fringes of the Dolomites in northern Italy, is not far beyond. A page including various small mountain sketches in the contemporary Venice and Botzen book (Tate D31922; Turner Bequest CCCXIII 67), possibly made in retrospect, includes a detail apparently correlating with the view of the Torre Druso here.
In his 1974 discussion of 1840 Venice subjects on grey paper, Andrew Wilton compared them to ‘views on the Rhine and at Botzen, on paper of the same type and size, [Tate D36149–D36158] Turner Bequest CCCLXIV–292 to 301)’;3 see also the technical notes below. As well as D36152 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 295, a view over central Bolzano), and others now assigned to the return leg of this tour, that sequence also includes the three Torrente Talvera views (this one, D36155 and D36156; CCCLXIV 297–299). Each has a pencil sketch on the verso, respectively D40188, D40177 and D40178, the first and third around Bolzano, and the second of Bregenz, Austria, from the earlier stages of this route.
1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1198.
2
A.J. Finberg, ‘Turner’s Work’, no date, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.VIII, laid in at folio 113.
3
Wilton 1974, p.157; see also p.160.
4
See Yardley 1983, p.55.
5
See George 1984, p.10.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Powell 1995, p.82 note 2.
2
See ibid., p.145.

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