Joseph Mallord William Turner

Schloss Wörth above the Strudel, with Burg Werfenstein down the River Danube

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 127 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30060
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 32

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the view as identified by Cecilia Powell1 is east down the River Danube near the Strudel rapids to the left of the ruined Schloss Wörth (no longer extant) on the rocky Insel Wörth; for views on adjacent pages, see under folio 31 verso (D30059). Burg Werfenstein is outlined above the north bank in the distance towards the right; see also folios 34 recto–37 recto (D30064–D30070); fortuitously, Turner had recently made thumbnail sketches of existing prints of the subject; see folios 12 verso and 13 recto (D30025–D30026). There seems to be a small steamboat towards the left, and there is a written colour note in the shallows on the near side of the central island.
Discussing the artist’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. For the Wirbel whirlpool, see under folio 37 recto (D30070).
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

1
See Powell 1995, p.241
2
See ibid., p.81 note 32.
3
Ibid., p.68.

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