Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Michael’s Church and the Winterreitschule, Vienna, from the Michaelerplatz; a Detail of an Arcade; an Arcaded Interior; ?Altenberg, Sankt Andrä-Wördern, by the River Danube; a Hill and Church

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 × 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30013
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 6 a

Catalogue entry

The miscellaneous drawings here were made with the vertical page turned both ways up. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 the upper view is across Vienna’s Michaelerplatz, south past the façade and tower of St Michael’s Church on the left down Reitschulgasse, with the domed Baroque winter riding school opposite and the former Burgtheater with its rounded pediment below to the right, later demolished to make way for the concave eastern end of the St Michael’s wing of the Hofburg Palace, mirroring the riding school.
Above and below are rapid sketches of what seems to be a concave arcaded interior.
The other way up at the bottom is a slight sketch of buildings on a hill, labelled ‘Altenburgh’,2 and likely showing Altenberg, part of Sankt Andrä-Wördern, on the Danube just west of Burg Greifenstein (see under folio 11 verso; D30023). Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Street scene; an interior; castle on hill, &c. – “Allnburgh” &c.’): ‘6a | 7a} ?Albensberg, nr. Ratisbon | Ritenberg. | Count Beust’s Chateau on Danube nr Vienna | Baed. Aust. p 269.’3 The latter suggestion (from an unknown edition of Baedeker’s guidebook to Austria) seems correct, as Graf von Beust, at one stage the Austrian Chancellor, died at Schloss Altenberg in 1882.4 See also folio 7 verso (D30015).
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.242.
2
See ibid., as ‘The Altenburg near Vienna’.
3
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.967.
4
See Heinrich Potthoff, ‘Friedrich Ferdinand, Graf (count) von Beust’, Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed 28 August 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Friedrich-Ferdinand-Graf-von-Beust.

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