Joseph Mallord William Turner

River Danube Views: Burg Werfenstein; Schloss Wörth above the Strudel

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 198 × 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30067
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 35 a

Catalogue entry

The page was used vertically both ways and again horizontally for four closely successive sketches within a short stretch of the River Danube, as identified by Cecilia Powell.1 At the top, Burg Werfenstein is shown on the north bank from the west, with what may be a long boat carrying several passengers below; across the middle is a similar view from slightly further north-west upstream, approaching the Strudel rapids; for other views of the castle, see under folio 32 recto (D30060).
Separated by pencil lines at the bottom right is a horizontal view east after passing Insel Wörth, in the middle of the river to the west of the castle, surmounted by the ruins of Schloss Wörth (no longer extant); the Strudel channel runs to the left of this small, rocky island (for views on adjacent pages, see under folio 31 verso; D30059). At the bottom left is a smaller reprise, carried a little way onto folio 36 recto opposite (D30068).
Discussing Turner’s Danube route between folios 31 verso–38 recto (D30059–D30072;2 like much of this sketchbook, apparently used in reverse of their present foliation), Powell has observed that within a brief stretch of two or three miles his ‘most intensive sequence of sketches, occupying fourteen pages, was made during the steamer’s cautious passage upstream from St Nikola to Grein, past the Wirbel and the Strudel’;3 these hazardous features, shown on old maps respectively east and west of Struden and nearby Burg Werfenstein, no longer exist following the elimination of associated rocks to improve navigation later in the nineteenth century.
Although Turner’s route upriver was straightforward, his somewhat haphazard use of this book to record it was not. For the geographical sequence of identified views between Vienna and Passau (see under folios 40 recto and 31 recto; D30076, D30058), see this sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, p.241.
2
Ibid., p.81 note 32.
3
Ibid., p.68.

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore

You might like

In the shop