Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna; Details of its Towers


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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 9 a

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This is one of three almost identical sketchbooks which Turner bought on his way to Venice in 1840, all composed of Austrian-made paper with a fake Whatman watermark (the others are no.65 and TB CCCXIII). He left Venice on 3 September and used this sketchbook for a week thereafter to record his homeward journey across the gulf of Trieste, through southern Austria to Vienna, and then down the Danube to Germany. He reached Vienna on 7 September. It was probably there that he saw some of the lithographs in Jakob Alt's famous series on the Danube (1819-26) and drew his twelve tiny copies of them which are such a notable feature of this sketchbook.

Gallery label, September 2004

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