Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hals from across the River Ilz, with St George’s Church


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCX 58 a

Catalogue entry

As Cecilia Powell recognised, this horizontal sketch shows Hals across the River Ilz, with the spire of St George’s Church on the left.1 The view is to the west, with the river flowing south to the left in the foreground; the village is set on the narrow neck of a tight meander, with the ruins of the medieval Burg Hals commanding the rocky heights out of sight here beyond the higher houses to the right. Hals is in the Passau district, and the centre of the city (see under folio 48 verso; D31371) is barely a mile due south. The narrow river twists and turns somewhat less directly, south-eastwards through wooded hills to its confluence with the Danube and the Inn.
Interspersed with subjects from later in the tour, there are other views of the river, village and ruins on folio 59 verso, the versos of folios 60–63, and folios 64 verso–65 verso and 66 verso (D31393, D31395, D31397, D31399, D31401, D31403–D31405, D31407); see also a studies of woman at ‘Haltz’ on folio 70 verso and inside the back cover (D31415, D41401). There are watercolour and pencil studies in the larger contemporary Passau and Burg Hals sketchbook (Tate D33667, D33669–D33670; Turner Bequest CCCXL 4, 5).
The castle’s striking setting also occasioned several atmospheric colour studies on separate sheets of brown and grey paper (Tate D24776, D28960, D28997, D29011–D29012, D36162; Turner Bequest CCLIX 211, CCXCII 13, 49, 60, 61, CCCLXIV 305).2

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Powell 1995, p.244.
See also ibid., pp.69, 160–3.

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