Joseph Mallord William Turner

Schloss Wörth above the Strudel, with Burg Werfenstein down the River Danube; a Large Riverside Town


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 127 × 198 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 33 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the main view as identified by Cecilia Powell1 is east down the River Danube near the Strudel rapids to the left of the ruins of Schloss Wörth (no longer extant), looming on the rocky Insel Wörth in the foreground; for views on adjacent pages, see under folio 31 verso (D30059). Burg Werfenstein is outlined above the north bank in the distance towards the left; for other views, see under folio 32 recto (D30060).
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.
Apparently squeezed in towards the top left and the other way up below are two slight views of the spires and skyline of what seems to be a large riverside town, with a written note of a bridge; this remains to be firmly identified. 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

See Powell 1995, p.241
See ibid., p.81 note 32.
Ibid., p.68.

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