Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Elevation and Ground Plan of the South Portico of the Walhalla, at Donaustauf near Regensburg; a Study of a Woman’s Costume

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 198 × 126 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31414
Turner Bequest CCCX 70

Catalogue entry

The page was used horizontally for two very rough architectural diagrams relating to the Walhalla monument, then nearing completion at Donaustauf, near Regensburg. Its Greek temple-style Doric south portico is shown in elevation, with only sufficient articulation to note the eight (octastyle) outer columns supporting the pediment. Below is a fragmentary ground plan, limited to showing the position of the columns in relation to the walls of the enclosed hall’s south-western corner, with the double row (making sixteen in all) supporting the porch at that end as part of the peripteral temple layout (with open colonnades down the sides).1
There are more detailed versions on the verso and inside the back cover (D31415, D41401); for numerous other contemporary views and diagrams of the Walhalla, nearby St Salvator’s Church and Donaustauf in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 33 verso (D31341).2
This is the only Walhalla sketch Finberg recognised in this book, and as such he linked it to an ‘Oil painting of “Walhalla” exhibited R.A., 1843’,3 meaning the large picture of The Opening of the Wallhalla [sic], 1842 (Tate N00533),4 shown at the Royal Academy in 1843 and in Munich in 1845, where the building features as a relatively minor, distant element above the broad River Danube, informed by Turner’s various conventional sketches of the monument and its landscape setting from this tour (since he did not return for the ceremony); see under D31341 for further discussion.
At right angles at the top left is the back view of a woman, made as a quick note of local German costume, with an abbreviated colour key. Compare the studies on folios 67 verso, 69 recto, the verso of this leaf and the insides of the front and back covers (D31409, D31412, D31415, D41400–D41401).
1
See also Powell 1995, pp.70, 244.
2
See also ibid., pp.70, 82 note 53.
3
Finberg 1909, II, p.999; see also George 1971, p.86, Butlin and Joll 1984, p.250, and Butlin 2001, p.207.
4
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.249–50 no.401, pl.410.
Technical notes:
Losses have been made good along the two shorter edges, corresponding to wear from the ribbon ties formerly anchored inside the back cover (D41401), this being the last free leaf.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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