Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Prague with a Monument in the Foreground


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIV 84

Catalogue entry

This view of Prague appears to have been taken from a vantage point looking towards Petrín Hill, seen at left. The crenellations of the Hunger Wall are suggested with uneven line (see D30789; Turner Bequest CCCIV 83). Beyond the Petrín Hill appears to be the faint profile of the Hradcany and the tower of St Vitus Cathedral.
A monument is rendered in the foreground of the view, with inscriptions from it copied below. Though these are rather illegibly written the text includes the date ‘Juli [July] 1804’. Many monuments were erected across the Habsburg (later the Austrian) Empire during the Napoleonic Wars (1803–15), to commemorate the approximately two million coalition soldiers killed or wounded.

Alice Rylance-Watson
December 2015

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