Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Danube at Passau from near the Palkerstein-Turm, with the Maxbrücke and the Oberhaus Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 127 × 198 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 22 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. It was identified by Cecilia Powell as a view of the River Danube at Passau ‘from near the Palkerstein-Turm’,1 apparently the conical tower towards the right, marked on old maps at the end of Grosse Klingergasse. Along with the little turret nearby, it no longer survives where wide roads now run along a broad Altstadt embankment. Beyond the tower to the east is the old Maxbrücke, replaced by the modern Schanzlbrücke which crosses further upstream, from around Turner’s viewpoint.
The steep slopes downriver on the left lead along to the Oberhaus fortress. Above to the right is a separate study of the Baroque west front of St John’s Church, placed over its spire on the skyline of the main view. It is shown again as part of the similar scene on folio 23 recto opposite (D30045), apparently drawn from the bridge; compare also folio 28 recto (D30054). For other Passau views in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 31 recto (D30058).
The page number ‘22a’ is inscribed at the corner appears to be in the neat, rounded hand of the Turner scholar C.F. Bell (1871–1966), who contributed to research on the Bequest.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, p.241.

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