Joseph Mallord William Turner

Passau from the Ilzstadt, with the Oberhaus and St Bartholomäus’s Church

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
D31383
Turner Bequest CCCX 54 a

Catalogue entry

As Cecilia Powell recognised,1 this rapid sketch, 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 south through the valley below the church, past the roughly outlined blocks of the Niederhaus overlooking its confluence with the much larger Danube towards the left. Above the spire towards the top right is the Oberhaus, looking over the centre of Passau in the distance. The tip of the Altstadt peninsula is shown above the Niederhaus, with slight indications of the twin towers of St Michael’s Church and, a little to their right, the central dome and west towers of the cathedral. The twin spires of the Mariahilf church are on the skyline at the far left, on the slopes south of the River Inn, which is absorbed by the Danube at the near end of the Altstadt.
All these features can be seen in more detail from a slightly different angle on folio 55 recto opposite (D31384). A contemporary watercolour study on grey paper (Tate D29006; Turner Bequest CCXCII 57) corresponds closely with the present page, while another (D28993; CCXCII 46) matches D31384; see also D33871 (CCCXLI 174), a similar study in pencil and white chalk. Compare also folio 55 verso (D31385); for numerous other views of Passau in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 48 verso (D31371).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, p.244.

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