Joseph Mallord William Turner

Persenbeug Castle across the River Danube, with a Boat; the Castle with Ybbs Opposite, Downstream; a Distant View; a Distant View of Freyenstein Castle Upstream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 198 × 127 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 56

Catalogue entry

Unusually in this sketchbook (as opposed to using single pages horizontally), Turner has worked across a double-page spread for two of the views here, both being continued on folio 55 verso opposite (D30107). The subjects, all identified by Cecilia Powell,1 are later than those of Trieste and its Slovenian hinterland on adjacent pages. As set out in the itinerary in this book’s Introduction, Persenbeug and Ybbs flank the River Danube east of Linz, where Turner was heading from Vienna, making many drawings of the sites along its banks.
At the top left here is a continuation from opposite, where the south front of Schloss Persenbeug is shown above the Danube, flowing to the right in the foreground; the most notable feature of the part on this page is a barge. Below, the view is south-east downstream to Ybbs on the opposite bank, the castle being downriver in the foreground on the opposite page. See also the 1833 Salzburg and Danube sketchbook (Tate D30257–D30258; Turner Bequest CCC 64a, 65).
There is a reprise of the whole of this second view as a thumbnail outline at the top right, separated from the study to its left by a vertical pencil line. Powell has read the place name above it as ‘Donnanwert’ (the minor variation ‘Dounanwert’ is offered here),2 interpreting it as referring to the village of Donaudorf, just upstream opposite Persenbeug.3
Lastly, the other way up at the bottom is a distant view of the ruined tower of Freyenstein (labelled ‘Frensten’), near Neustadtl a few miles to the west, looking upstream; see under folio 38 verso (D30073) for other views. Turner had made drawings along this stretch while travelling in the opposite direction in 1833; see the Salzburg and Danube sketchbook (Tate D30257–D30258; Turner Bequest CCC 64a–65).
See Powell 1995, p.240.
See also Finberg 1909, II, p.969, suggesting ‘“Dounanwort” (? Donauwörth)’, much further west, north of Augsburg and not on Turner’s route.
See Powell 1995, p.240.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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