Joseph Mallord William Turner

Schloss Ernsthöhe (later Hohenfels), with Details; Veste Coburg and Coburg from Schloss Ernsthöhe; Veste Coburg and Schloss Ernsthöhe


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCX 23

Catalogue entry

Most of the sketches here were made with the page turned horizontally. Although Finberg correctly identified the setting as the Itz Valley,1 Cecilia Powell has shown more specifically that they represent views around Coburg.2
At the top right, seen from the south-east, is the four-square, neo-classical stone Schloss Ernsthöhe, ‘built for Duke Ernst von Württemberg, a cousin of Prince Albert, and ... completed in the very year of Turner’s visit’.3 Later known as Schloss Hohenfels, and currently the Medau-Schule, it stands on a hill just north-west of the town; this aspect is now largely obscured by trees close to the building. Above to the right is a separate elevation, complete with a flag flying.
Taken from nearby, the main view shows the Veste Coburg fortress, south-south-east of Schloss Ernsthöhe, dominating the Itz Valley high above parkland north-west of the town of Coburg itself, marked principally by the spire of St Moriz’s Church; the valley has been largely built over. Powell recognised the prospect as the source of loosely worked watercolour study (Tate D35948; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 105),4 also catalogued under the present tour. Compare the main view on folio 22 verso opposite (D31319), itself the basis for a similar watercolour (D36187; CCCLXIV 329).
Lastly, at right-angles on the right and separated by a pencil line, is a similar view across the valley towards Veste Coburg from immediately outside Schloss Ernsthöhe, which is seen where the drawing continues to the right across D31319 opposite. For the numerous other Coburg views in this book, see under folio 1 verso (D31278).5

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Finberg 1909, II, p.977.
See Powell 1995, p.242.
Ibid., p.173.
See ibid.
See also Powell 1995, pp.72, 82 notes 63 and 64.

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