Joseph Mallord William Turner

Schloss Wallsee, Down the River Danube; the Top of St Stephen’s Cathedral Spire, Vienna


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 8 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Church and castle. – “Wallsee” and “Wallshee.” (? Waldsee or Wallsee.)’): ‘Nieder Wallsee’.1 The two related drawings towards the top show aspects of Schloss Wallsee, at Wallsee-Sindelburg on the south bank of the River Danube east of Linz, as Turner passed it on his westward voyage. Despite later renovations, the castle and its distinctive spire remain recognisable. See also folio 9 recto opposite (D30018), folio 14 recto (D30028) and the 1833 Salzburg and Danube sketchbook (Tate D30243–D30247; Turner Bequest CCC 57a–59a). Turner had fortuitously made a thumbnail copy from a lithograph of the castle while staying in Vienna shortly before passing it again in reality; see folio 12 verso (D30025).
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.
Running from left to right below the two main views is an incongruous, lightly drawn detail of the spire over the south transept of St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, continued upwards from the full-page horizontal view on folio 9 verso (D30019); Turner would have temporarily slid the edge of that drawing half-way back to allow enough space on the present page to align and continue the full height of its upper stages here.

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.

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