Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Walhalla, on the River Danube at Donaustauf near Regensburg, at Sunset


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 245 × 307 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 316

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The design of the Walhalla (1830-42) was closely based on that of the Parthenon in Athens and it stands overlooking the Danube a few miles east of Regensburg. Inside are busts and tablets honouring the great Germans of history. When Turner visited the unfinished temple in 1840 he drew many pencil sketches both inside and out, with details of architectural features and ground plans. Some drawings were made in a sketchbook (no.65), others on pieces of grey paper similar to nos.94-6. No.97 is his only watercolour study and was probably drawn after his return to London when he decided to make the Walhalla the subject of a painting (no.109, downstairs in Room T9).

Gallery label, September 2004

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