Joseph Mallord William Turner

Donaustauf, near Regensburg, from the Back of the Walhalla; the Infrastructure of the Walhalla; Studies of Women’s Costumes

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
D31412
Turner Bequest CCCX 69

Catalogue entry

As identified by Finberg and more specifically by Cecilia Powell,1 the main horizontal view is apparently continuous, showing the prospect from near the north end of the temple-like hilltop Walhalla, then nearing completion high above the Danube Valley, west to the spire of St Salvator’s Church and on to the hilltop castle ruins at Donaustauf, a few miles downstream of Regensburg. Such a view is precluded today by dense trees on the slopes down to the church. For numerous contemporary views in the vicinity in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 33 verso (D31341).2
As Powell has noted,3 the disjointed geometric forms towards the top left evoke the immense stone infrastructure climbing the hillside to the colonnaded entrance at the other end of the Walhalla.
At right-angles, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, there are several typically swift and deft studies of costume, all showing women from the back, with associated colour notes. One carries a large basket, and another perhaps a child. See also folios 67 verso, 70 recto and verso and the insides of the front and back covers (D31409, D31414–D31415, D41400–D41401).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.999, and Powell 1995, p.244.
2
See also Powell 1995, pp.70, 82 note 53.
3
Ibid., p.244.

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