Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Pleichertor, Würzburg, beside the River Main, with the Marienkapelle, Rathaus and Marienberg Beyond


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIII 80

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the view is south up the River Main along the Kranenkai towards central Würzburg, with boats and figures in the foreground. As Cecilia Powell has noted, the tall, plain Pleichertor is shown as part of the city walls, which with a turret and what appears to be high relief carving in the foreground.1 Of these features, only the tower itself survives beyond the Congress Centrum south of the Friedensbrücke. Beyond it are the Baroque spire of the Marienkapelle (since rebuilt in Gothic Revival style) and the tower and slim spire of the Rathaus.
Beyond the Alte Mainbrücke, the Marienberg fortress rises at the right-hand edge; there is a reprise and continuation at the top right. The prominent complex features in numerous adjacent drawings. There is a similar view from nearby on folio 80 verso opposite (D30613; Turner Bequest CCCIII 79a). See also two views of the defences around the Pliechertor on the recto of that leaf (D30612).
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

See Powell 1995, p.245.

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