Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Domstrasse, Würzburg, with the Rathaus, Cathedral and Vierröhrenbrunnen

1840

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30631
Turner Bequest CCCIII 88 a

Display caption

Like nos.64-5 this sketchbook was bought during Turner's 1840 tour but in Germany rather than Austria. He used it extensively in Würzburg, drawing some forty pages of sketches, and again when travelling down the Rhine from Mainz to Cologne. A final few sketches were drawn at Ostend. Turner's arrival at Würzburg was noted in a newspaper of 23 September which named his hotel, the Wittelsbacher Hof in the market place. From there it was only a short walk to the Domstrasse which runs directly from the bridge over the Main to St Kilian's cathedral, forming a most striking composition. The town hall stands on the left, an ornate fountain on the right.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

With his back to the Alte Mainbrücke over the River Main, Turner’s view east along Würzburg’s Domstrasse1 towards the cathedral is part of a double-page drawing made with the sketchbook turned horizontally. This page shows the upper stages of the buildings, while the prospect at street level is continued below, extending about a third of the way across folio 90 recto opposite (D30632; Turner Bequest CCCIII 89). On the left is the soaring tower of the Rathaus, with the four spires of the cathedral in the distance at the centre. In front of the gabled building towards the right, since lost, is the statue at the top of the obelisk of the Vierröhrenbrunnen fountain, south of the Rathaus;2 the shaft is continued opposite.
For the extensive sequence of Würzburg views in this sketchbook and others elsewhere, see under folio 72 verso (D30596; CCCIII 71).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.981.
2
See Powell 1995, pp.145, 244.

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