Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of the South Porch of the Walhalla, at Donaustauf near Regensburg; Studies of Women and their Costumes, One in a Landscape at Hals

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
D31415
Turner Bequest CCCX 70 a

Catalogue entry

This page was used both horizontally and vertically for two distinct subjects. The right-hand half includes architectural studies relating to the Walhalla monument, then nearing completion at Donaustauf, near Regensburg, as recognised by Cecilia Powell.1 The left-hand end of its pedimented Greek temple-style Doric south portico is shown in elevation, with only the top of the outermost of eight (octastyle) outer columns. Around it there are slight details including a partial plan of the columns’ arrangement. The grid of six squares likely relates to the panels of deep coffering between them in the open porch’s ceiling. There is a hasty drawing of the overall elevation on the recto (D31414), and more extensive plans on the inside of the back cover opposite (D41401). For numerous contemporary views of the Walhalla and nearby Donaustauf in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 33 verso (D31341).2
Inverted relative to the book’s foliation, there are small full-length studies of women carrying baskets or bundles, showing the local German costumes. The one in ‘Red’ at the corner is shown walking in a valley setting labelled ‘Haltz’, indicating Hals, near Passau. The village and its dramatically sited castle ruins are shown on numerous adjacent pages, as noted under folio 58 verso (D31391), and folio 59 recto (D31392) is inscribed in a similar way.
The other figures, shown in isolation, were not necessarily drawn on the same occasion; they include a group of three, apparently caught candidly in conversation. They might have informed the groupings of women in traditional outfits gathered on the riverbank in the foreground of Turner’s large painting of The Opening of the Wallhalla [sic], 1842 (Tate N00533),3 shown at the Royal Academy in 1843. The shoulder of one is briefly continued onto the opposite page, where there are two more full-length studies, again inscribed ‘Haltz’; see also the figures on folios 67 verso, 69 recto, the recto and the inside of the front cover (D31409, D31412, D31414, D41400).
1
See Powell 1995, p.244.
2
See also ibid., pp.70, 82 note 53.
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.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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