Joseph Mallord William Turner

Views of Landeck, Merano (Meran), and Other Mountain Scenes; Two Women in Traditional Costume


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 89 × 149 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXX 31 a

Catalogue entry

The various sketches here were all made with the page turned horizontally. At the centre left, and probably drawn first, is a view is to the south-east across the River Inn at Landeck, with Schloss Landeck high up on the right and the spire of the Maria Himmelfahrt church to its left, against the background of the Tyrol Alps; compare 17 recto (D32295), and a contemporary watercolour study over a more detailed pencil outline (Tate D36173; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 315). For other views of Landeck and its situation on Turner’s route, see under folio 16 verso (D32294).
Isolated within a rough pencil oval at the top centre is a distant view of Merano (Meran), some forty miles to the south-east as the crow flies but around twice as far by the meandering mountain road through the Passo di Resia (Reschenpass). The only other scene in the immediate vicinity may be on folio 27 verso (D32314; Turner Bequest CCCXX 27a); the view at the bottom left, framed by pencil lines, may be another view from some way off. The thumbnail landscape sketch to its right seems to be inverted, and may be labelled ‘Rough’; it appears to show a storm over a rugged landscape.
Finally, in the space on the right is a back view of two women in what seems to be traditional Tyrolean costume. They were perhaps recorded at leisure on the same occasion when Turner filled a page with detailed costume studies (folio 30 recto; D32319; see also folio 30 verso; D32320). Compare a study inside the back cover of the contemporary Trieste, Graz and Danube sketchbook (Tate D30129; Turner Bequest CCXCIX 67), showing two women likely in Slovenian dress.
A long sequence of sketches, mostly characterised as ‘Mountains’ by Finberg (with occasional identifications and transcriptions of the place names marked by the artist), lies between folios 7 recto and 76 recto (D32275–D32411).1 See the sketchbook’s Introduction for the likely overall route between Bregenz and Venice.2

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Finberg 1909, II, pp.1030–2.
See also Cecilia Powell, Turner in Germany, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1995, pp.65, 81 note 9.

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