Joseph Mallord William Turner

Prague: View across the Charles Bridge to the Petrin Hill and Hradcany


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 159 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCI 29 a

Catalogue entry

In this carefully observed study Turner depicts the Bohemian capital of Prague from a vantage point on the Charles Bridge. The Bridge was constructed under the auspices of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV at the beginning of the fifteenth century. A few centuries later the bridge’s north and south balustrades were adorned with thirty statues of saints, some of which are visible in Turner’s sketch. Petrín Hill can be seen at left, ‘all in light’, as Turner inscribes, with part of the medieval Hunger Wall and Seminary. The Hradcany precinct is at right, dominated by the imperial Castle and St Vitus Cathedral. To the right of St Vitus are the twin towers of St George’s Church.
Other drawings of Prague can be found at Tate D30344–D30361, D30364–D30366; Turner Bequest CCCI 25–33a, 36–37. The Prague, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Rhine sketchbook of the same tour holds drawings of the city at 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.

Alice Rylance-Watson
September 2015

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop