Joseph Mallord William Turner

Prague: The City and the Prospect down the Vltava from Petrín Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIV 76

Catalogue entry

This prospect of Prague was taken from Petrín Hill, and encompasses the Old Town, the Vltava River, Charles Bridge as well as the imperial Castle and Cathedral of St Vitus (seen in the distance at centre). Petrín Hill afforded Turner excellent prospects of Prague and is itself an historically significant feature of the city. It was fortified with a wall, battlements and bastions by Emperor and King of Bohemia Charles IV to strengthen the defense of Prague Castle which was then his residence. The Hunger Wall, as it was named, can be seen in part in the foreground of Turner’s sketch, at left.
Turner produced several views of Prague on the 1835 tour. For other drawings in this sketchbook Tate D30759–30761, D30764–D30765, D30767, D30771–D30773, D30775–D30777, D30779–D30783, D30788–D30790, D30792–D30803, D30805, D30807–D30811, D30813–D30820; Turner Bequest CCCIV 68–69, 70a–71, 72, 74–75, 76–77, 78–80, 82a–84, 85–91, 92, 93–96, 97–102. See also the Dresden, Tepliz and Prague sketchbook (Tate D30344–D30361, D30364–D30366; Turner Bequest CCCI 25–33a, 36–37).

Alice Rylance-Watson
December 2015

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