Joseph Mallord William Turner

Schloss Callenberg, near Coburg; Schloss Ernsthöhe (later Hohenfels) and Coburg from the West, with Veste Coburg Beyond; Distant Views of Veste Coburg

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 × 126 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31398
Turner Bequest CCCX 62

Catalogue entry

There are five studies here, made one above the other down the page, with the one at the bottom right inverted. Finberg correctly transcribed Turner’s notes ‘Coburg’ and ‘Altenberg’, although the significance of the latter is unclear,1 as Cecilia Powell has identified the top two sketches as showing the medieval Schloss Callenberg2 (see also folio 10 verso; D31296), seen to the west on its wooded hill in countryside south of Biersdorf, about three miles north-west of Coburg.
Next is a view of Coburg itself, with the regular form of Schloss Ernsthöhe (later Hohenfels) aligned with the distant Veste Coburg fortress to its east-south-east beyond the town, lightly indicated to the right; at the bottom are two slighter studies, apparently also of Veste Coburg.3
Turner’s unusually specific record of the day as well as the date, ‘Sunday 20 Sept’ has proved important in dating this sketchbook; as has since been confirmed, Finberg placed it at about 1840. Having first noted another sketch (folio 22 recto; D31318) as relating to an 1841 painting,4 he observed of the note here: ‘The 20th September, 1840, fell on a Sunday.’5 For the numerous Coburg views in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 verso (D31278).6

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.999.
2
See Powell 1995, p.244.
3
Ibid.
4
See Finberg 1909, II, p.997.
5
Ibid., p.999; see also George 1971, p.86, and Powell 1995, pp.71, 82 note 61.
6
See also Powel 1995, pp.72, 82 notes 63 and 64.

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