Joseph Mallord William Turner

River Danube Views Copied from Prints: Steyregg Castle; the Ruins of Spielberg (Spilberg); Burg Krempelstein (Krämpelstein)


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 11

Catalogue entry

Turner used this page vertically, turning it both ways up for three subjects. Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Castles on mountains, &c. – “Steyerberg (?),” “Spielberg (?),” and “Grenspenstein.”’): ‘Schloss Steyrigg | Spielberg | Linz to Vienna’.1 As discussed in the Introduction, Cecilia Powell has noted that fifteen of the views in this sketchbook (folio 10 recto, this page, 12 verso–13 verso; D30020, D30022, D30025–D30027) are thumbnail sketches from existing prints, mostly lithographs by Jakob Alt (1789–1872), likely seen in Turner’s Vienna hotel,2 from Adolf Kunike and Alt’s Donau-Ausichten vom Ursprunge bis zum Ausflusse in Meer (‘Danube views from its source to the sea’), issued between 1819 and the mid 1820s.3
At the top, Steyregg Castle (not an Alt subject)4 comprises a Baroque keep within medieval ramparts overlooking the town of the same name, just east of Linz on the north bank of the Danube. It was not drawn otherwise by Turner although it was on his route, various other subjects in the neighbourhood being recorded (see the sketchbook’s Introduction).
In the middle is Spielberg (Alt, plate 61;5 sometimes given as Spilberg), a ruined castle a few miles downstream, near Mauthausen; see under folio 24 verso (D30048) for Turner’s direct sketches on this occasion and previously. As Powell has observed: ‘Turner’s sketch copy of Alt’s view of the ruined castle of Spielberg, east of Linz, shows a far better preserved building than the one he drew from nature in both 1833 and 1840’;6 compare this view with that in D30048.7
Below, the other way up, is Burg Krempelstein (or Krämpelstein; again, not an Alt subject8), on the Danube opposite Erlau, not far east of Passau; see under folio 17 recto (D30034) for direct sketches in this book and a related colour study.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.967; see also his similar note in a standard copy in the same collection, p.967.
See Powell 1995, pp.66–7, 81 note 27.
See ibid., pp.13, 67, 143, 240.
See Powell 1995, p.242.
See Powell 1995, p.242.
Powell 1995, p.67.
As suggested in Powell 1995, p.81 note 29.
See Powell 1995, p.242.

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