Joseph Mallord William Turner

The View up the River Mur from the Grieskai, Graz, to the Schlossberg

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 127 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30082
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 43

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the view is north-east across the River Mur to the Schlossberg, with the Uhrturm clocktower on its right, just to the left of the tall, domed tower of the Franziskanerkirche. Turner has written ‘Pil’ (probably overwriting ‘Col’1) beside it, indicating the pilasters around the octagonal upper stages (rather than columns as he first seems to have thought), and ‘Pil’ again above the lower tower on the right. The viewpoint is the Grieskai,2 although the buildings on the left are not immediately recognisable. Compare the similar prospect on the verso (D30083), and the recto and verso of folio 42 (D30080–D300081).
Turner’s views of Graz are mainly concentrated between folios 41 verso and 48 recto (D30079–D30092), and were likely made in reverse of the sketchbook’s present foliated order; see under D30079 for further discussion.3 In his 1909 Inventory, in his checklist of what he called the ‘Danube and Graz’ sketchbook (dated to c.1837–40),4 Finberg had recognised folios 42 recto–45 recto (D30080–D30086) as showing the city;5 in 1930’s In Venice with Turner, he linked the book among others to a supposed 1835 tour to the city. Apart from mentioning ‘sketches on the Danube between Vienna and Lintz’, his only other comment appears slightly bemused: ‘I am not sure that he went to Graz; the sketches on pp. 42 to 45 seem to have been made from a distance.’6

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
As read by Powell, 1995, p.241.
2
See ibid.
3
See also ibid., pp.66, 81 note 22.
4
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.967–70.
5
Ibid., p.969.
6
Finberg 1930, p.168.

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