Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Lazanskyhaus from the Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, Vienna; the Cathedral among Houses

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 x 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30076
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 40

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Street, with cathedral, etc.’): ‘Stephanskirche, Vienna from S.W.’1 With the page turned horizontally, the main view shows the west end of St Stephen’s Cathedral to the north-east, from the Stock-im-Eisen-Platz. As Cecilia Powell has noted, the building in the foreground at the centre is the Baroque Lazanskyhaus,2 which was demolished in 1896.3 The cathedral’s imposing south transept tower looms over the house, the north-west corner of which is apparently shown in a view from nearby on folio 9 verso (D30019). Turner temporarily rolled over the outer edge of the page back to facilitate his continuing the upper stages of the spire on the verso (D30077), and a slight convex crease remains evident about a third of the way in.
Powell has noted that Turner arrived in the Austrian capital on Monday 7 September, having travelled north-east from Graz (see under folio 41 verso; D30079) to what would be the easternmost point on this tour, and was staying at the Stadt Frankfurt hotel in Seilergasse, off the Graben; ‘he stepped outside and drew a few sketches of the Stefansdom including the Stock-im-Eisen-Platz.’4 For other views in and around Vienna, see folios 4 recto, 5 recto and verso (D30008, D30010–D30011)5 and, less certainly, folios 2 recto and verso and 10 verso (D30004–D30005, D30021).
Turner had made extensive drawings in and around the city in 1833, having reached it down the River Danube; see the 1833 Salzburg and Danube sketchbook (Tate D31417, D31423, D31425–D31426, D31428–D31429, D31431–D31439, D31442–D31443, D31450–D31452, D31454–D31456, D31458, D31470–D31471, D31542, D31592, D31596; Turner Bequest CCCXI 1a, 4a, 5v, 6, 7, 7a, 8a–12a, 14, 14a, 18–19, 20–21, 22, 28, 28a, 64a, 92, 94). Of these, D31431, D31450–D31452, D31454–D31456, D31470–D31471, D31542, D31592 and D31596 show the cathedral.
He had also had time to visit the Imperial Picture Gallery on the previous visit; see Tate D41262 (inside the front cover) and Tate D31416 (Turner Bequest CCCXI 1). This time, before setting off upriver to the west, he likely only had time to make thumbnail sketches from lithographs of Danube views hanging in his hotel, intermingled with his direct sketches as discussed in this sketchbook’s Introduction.6

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.969.
2
See Powell 1995, p.241.
3
See 1893 photograph from a similar angle at ‘Lazanskyhaus’, Wien Geschichte Wiki, accessed 9 January 2018, https://www.wien.gv.at/wiki/index.php?title=Lazanskyhaus.
4
Powell 1995, p.66; see also p.81 note 24 and p.143.
5
See ibid., p.81 notes 24, 26.
6
See also ibid., pp.67–8.

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