Joseph Mallord William Turner

Copenhagen: The Interior of the Church of Our Lady

1835

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 92 × 155 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30883
Turner Bequest CCCV 32

Catalogue entry

This is a sketch of Copenhagen’s Church of Our Lady, now the city’s cathedral. Turner shows the nave and hemi-spherical apse, decorated with sculptures of Christ and the Apostles by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844). Thorvaldsen modelled these sculptures in Rome where he maintained a workshop in the stables of the Palazzo Barberini. 1As Tate curator David Blayney Brown writes, Thorvaldsen ‘had apparently been influenced by Greek marbles from Aegina, which he had restored for the King of Bavaria’.2 Turner had seen the very same marbles in Munich in 1833, on a tour through Germany and Austria to Venice. The statues are rendered here in shorthand with an inscription at rear naming: ‘St B’ [Bartholomew], ‘Thomas’, ‘Jacobus’ [James], and ‘Phippus’ [Philip].
For more sketches of Hamburg see Tate D30842–D30860, D30862–D30870, D30872, D30874–D30880, D30882–D30886; Turner Bequest CCCV 11a–20a, 21a–25a, 26a, 27a–30a, 31a–33a.

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2015

1
Blayney Brown 2002, p.146.
2
Ibid.

Read full Catalogue entry

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