Joseph Mallord William Turner

?The Burgtor, Vienna

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
D30021
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 10 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, this slight drawing was apparently made in haste, perhaps while passing the imposing structure on the left in a carriage; its relationship to the setting beyond to the right appears uncertain. Cecilia Powell has suggested it shows Vienna’s monumental classical Burgtor gateway;1 built in the 1820s it stands in the Heldenplatz near the Hofburg Palace.
Its south-western front includes five arches within its rusticated central third. These are visible through the corresponding section of the three-part Doric colonnade on the inner, north-eastern face, each part of which comprises four columns between massive corner piers. Turner appears to show five round arches, and seems to have written ‘4’ three times below the building.
For the few other Vienna views in this book, see under folio 40 recto (D30076).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, p.242.

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