Joseph Mallord William Turner

Donaustauf, St Salvator’s Pilgrimage Church and the Walhalla, across the River Danube near Regensburg

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 190 × 281 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D34085
Turner Bequest CCCXLI 364

Catalogue entry

Turner visited Donaustauf, on the north bank of the River Danube about five miles east of Regensburg in southern Germany, to see the Greek temple-style Walhalla monument (as tentatively identified by Finberg1), then nearing completion ahead of its opening in 1842. He made numerous complementary pencil drawings in the vicinity in the Venice, Passau to Würzburg book; see under Tate D31341 (Turner Bequest CCCX 33a) for further details.2 Here, the small town, with its ruined hilltop castle and parish church, are seen across the river on the left, with the pilgrimage church of St Salvator in the dip at the centre, and the Walhalla to the east above its tiered stone infrastructure, blocked in with gleaming chalk; compare Tate D31342, D31349, D31356, D31358, D31360 and D31362 (CCCX 34, 37a, 41, 42, 43, 44) in the sketchbook. The arrangement here would have informed the juxtaposition of the distant elements in the major oil painting of The Opening of the Wallhalla [sic], 1842 (Tate N00533),3 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1843 and in Munich in 1845, where St Salvator’s tower is picked out in white against the hillside.
As discussed in the technical notes below, the present study is one of seven of Regensburg and the Walhalla (see also Tate D32185, D34081, D34084, D34093, D36150, D36153; Turner Bequest CCCXVII 6, CCCXLI 360, 363, 371, CCCLXIV 293, 296) which were initially eighths of a single sheet; D36151 (CCCLXIV 294) is a related view on similar paper. Of these, D34084 shows the interior of the Walhalla while D34093 is a similar landscape view, excluding the town. See also a watercolour study on conventional white paper (Tate D36174; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 316).
1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.1088.
2
See also Powell 1995, pp.70, 82 note 53, and Powell 2001, p.370.
3
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.249–50 no.401, pl.410.
Technical notes:
There is some yellowish staining towards the right.
Among many such works on the blue or grey papers customarily used by Turner, this is one of seven originally from a single piece (subsequently scattered through Finberg’s 1909 Inventory, as listed above) to be identified by Cecilia Powell as showing subjects in and around Regensburg.1 They are from an 1829 sheet of the grey Bally, Ellen and Steart paper often used in 1840 (see the Introduction to the overall tour), and were temporarily reassembled for paper conservator Peter Bower’s 1999 Turner’s Later Papers exhibition, showing that their slightly irregular edges match exactly.2 This section includes part of the watermark; for the other half, see Tate D36150 (CCCLXIV 293).3
1
See Powell 1995, pp.167–8.
2
See Bower 1999, pp.105, 107 no.59, with one side of the overall arrangement reproduced in colour p.69, the other in black and white p.106.
3
See Powell 1995, p.165.
4
Bower 1999, pp.105, 107.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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