Joseph Mallord William Turner

Passau from the Ilzstadt, with the Confluence of the Rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz


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 55

Catalogue entry

As Andrew Wilton and Cecilia Powell recognised,1 this drawing, made with the page turned horizontally, shows the prospect south-west over Passau from the open ground above St Bartholomäus’s Church on the Ilzstadt. The River Ilz winds to the left beyond the church, passing the towers of the Niederhaus overlooking its confluence with the much larger Danube. Above the spire towards the top right is the Oberhaus, looking over the centre of Passau. The tip of the Altstadt peninsula is shown beyond the Niederhaus, with the twin towers of St Michael’s Church and, above the centre, the dome and towers of the cathedral. The twin spires of the Mariahilf church are on the skyline towards the top left, on the slopes south of the River Inn, which is itself absorbed by the Danube at the confluence off the near end of the Altstadt.
There is a similar albeit slighter view on folio 54 verso opposite (D31383). A contemporary watercolour study on grey paper (Tate D28993; Turner Bequest CCXCII 46) corresponds closely with this page, while another (D29006; CCXCII 57) matches D31383; compare also the sketch on the verso here (D31385). See also Tate D33871 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 174), another study in pencil and white chalk on grey. In identifying the similar view in a more detailed watercolour from the 1840 Passau and Burg Hals sketchbook (Tate D33668; Turner Bequest CCCXL 3), Wilton compared it to this page and folio 56 recto (D31386).2 For numerous other views of Passau in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 48 verso (D31371).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Wilton 1974, p.161, and Powell 1995, p.244.
See Wilton 1974, p.161.

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