Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Oberhaus from the Ilzstadt, Passau

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31386
Turner Bequest CCCX 56

Catalogue entry

As recognised by Andrew Wilton and Cecilia Powell,1 this horizontal view is west from the Ilzstadt at Passau, past the spire of St Bartholomäus’s Church on the right to the far bank of the River Ilz. The inconspicuous building at the bottom centre is St Salvator’s Church, below the craggy slopes leading up from the Niederhaus to the imposing hilltop Oberhaus fortress; the hillside is now thickly wooded.
Compare the right-hand half of a contemporary watercolour on grey paper (Tate D28993; Turner Bequest CCXCII 46), where the Oberhaus is shown overlooking central Passau and the confluence of the Ilz, the Danube and the Inn to its south. That part of the view loosely corresponds with the sketch on folio 55 verso opposite (D31385), where the present sketch is continued a little way down across the gutter.
In identifying the similar view in a more detailed watercolour from the 1840 Passau and Burg Hals sketchbook (Tate D33668; Turner Bequest CCCXL 3), Wilton compared it to this page and folio 55 recto (D31384).2 For numerous other views of Passau in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 48 verso (D31371).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Wilton 1974, p.161, and Powell 1995, p.244.
2
See Wilton 1974, p.161.

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