Joseph Mallord William Turner

Teplitz: The Schlossplatz, Looking towards the Plague Column, Dekanalkirche, Schlosskirche and Schloss


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 159 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCI 19

Catalogue entry

This carefully observed study shows Teplitz, a town located close to the German border in north-western Bohemia (now modern day Teplice in the Czech Republic). Turner depicts the Schlossplatz, Teplitz’ main square, from a vantage point encompassing the town’s principal sites such as the Dekanalkirche, Schlosskirche and Teplice Palace at right. At left is the Plague Column, an ornately decorated monument designed by Matthias Braun (1684–1738) and erected in honor of the Holy Trinity to celebrate the town’s protection from an outbreak of plague in 1713. The monument was modeled on the Pestsäule in Vienna, and is adorned with sculptures of the Holy Trinity, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian (all three invoked in times of plague). Saints Paul, Jerome and John the Baptiste (patron of Teplitz) are also present.
For more sketches of Teplitz see Tate D30315–D30335; Turner Bequest CCCI 10a–20a.

Alice Rylance-Watson
September 2015

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