Joseph Mallord William Turner

Grein and Schloss Greinburg, Down the River Danube; Burg Krempelstein (Krämpelstein), from Downstream and Upstream

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 198 × 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30034
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 17

Catalogue entry

There are three views of two unrelated subjects here, drawn vertically one above the other with the page turned both ways. Clearly labelled at the top is Schloss Greinburg, a large castle a few miles upstream from Ybbs, seen to the north down the Danube where it overlooks Grein and a sharp bend to the east. There are three other views on folio 16 verso opposite (D30033); for others drawn on this journey and in 1833, see under folio 15 verso (D30031).
Below are two views of the much more compact hillside form of Burg Krempelstein (or Krämpelstein), as identified by Cecilia Powell.1 In picturesque isolation, it faces north-west over the middle section of an S-bend of the Danube opposite Erlau, not far east of Passau (and many miles from Grein); see also the verso and folio 19 recto (D30035, D30037), and a copy of an earlier Austrian print on folio 11 recto (D30022). The sketch across the middle of the page shows the castle from downstream; the one inverted below, looking upstream, was presumably made first as Turner travelled that way, and is comparable with the corresponding part of a contemporary colour study over pencil on grey paper (Tate D28971; Turner Bequest CCXCII 24), where Krempelstein is seen silhouetted in the distance.
Powell has noted that as the Danube flows to Linz from Passau, it ‘pursues its course by means of several spectacular bends’, giving Turner the chance to study the castles as he sailed up this stretch ‘looking quickly now upstream, now downstream’,2 as shown in various sketches interspersed with other subjects between here and folio 26 verso (D30034–D30052).3 Although his route upriver was straightforward, his somewhat haphazard use of this book to record it was not. For the geographical sequence of identified views between Vienna and Passau (see under folios 40 recto and 31 recto; D30076, D30058), see this sketchbook’s Introduction.
Hardy George incorrectly associated this subject and the sketchbook in general with Turner’s 1833 journey down the same stretch of the river4

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, p.241.
2
Powell 1995, p.68.
3
See ibid., p.81 note 35.
4
See George 1984, p.9.

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