Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Danube at Passau from the Maxbrücke, with the Oberhaus and Niederhaus in the Distance


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 23

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. As identified by Cecilia Powell,1 the view is eastwards down the River Danube at Passau, with the tall Baroque tower of St Peter’s Church on the Altstadt peninsula, and the central onion dome of the cathedral beyond. High on the left is the Oberhaus fortress, with the Niederhaus on the bank below. The twin spires of the Mariahilf church, across the River Inn to the south-east, are indicated in faint outline to the right. At the top right is a continuation or reprise of riverside buildings from the main view, where wide roads now run along a broad embankment where Turner indicates reflections.
The viewpoint appears to be the Maxbrücke, shown on old maps level as leading to Wittgasse; it was replaced by the modern Schanzlbrücke which crosses upstream, behind Turner’s viewpoint. Compare the similar prospect from further back, with the bridge in the middle distance, on folio 22 verso opposite (D30044); see also folio 28 recto (D30054). For other Passau views in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 31 recto (D30058).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Powell 1995, p.241.

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