Joseph Mallord William Turner

Veste Coburg and Coburg from Schloss Ernsthöhe (later Hohenfels); inscriptions by Turner: Days of the Week in French, English and German

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31394
Turner Bequest CCCX 60

Catalogue entry

The page was used horizontally for a view identified by Cecilia Powell,1 looking eastwards from the vicinity of Schloss Ernsthöhe (later Hohenfels), north-west of the centre of Coburg, loosely indicated on the right, towards the hilltop Veste Coburg fortress. For the numerous Coburg views in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 verso (D31278).2
Curiously the drawing, one of several from this direction, was made over a faint and seemingly largely erased page of neatly written notes, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, of days of the week in French, English and German, accompanied by the specific date ‘17 Sept’;3 see under folio 1 recto (D31277), where ‘Coburg – 17 Sepr’ is inscribed. The town and its surroundings were amongst the last places recorded in this book (see the Introduction), and perhaps an urgent need for drawing space overrode one of Turner’s sporadic ad hoc attempts at mastering the basics of European languages.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, p.244.
2
See also Powell 1995, pp.72, 82 notes 63 and 64.
3
Partly transcribed in Finberg 1909, II, p.999, and more comprehensively in Powell 1995, p.244.

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