Joseph Mallord William Turner

Villagers beside the River Danube at Engelhartszell; Burg Vichtenstein Upstream; the Danube Downstream

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 198 × 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30039
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 20

Catalogue entry

The page was used vertically both ways for two adjacent River Danube subjects. At the top is a riverfront view of buildings and figures. Cecilia Powell has noted that ‘at Engelhartszell the steamer had to stop at the Austrian custom-house and [Turner] was able to sketch a group of local people at the water’s edge, but such sketches are otherwise absent from this record of his Danube travels.’1 Just upstream towards Passau, the river begins to mark the boundary between Austria on the south bank, and Germany opposite. See also the verso (D30040), which includes a view of nearby Engelszell Abbey.
At the centre is a labelled view, looking beyond boats in the foreground up to Burg Vichtenstein, about four miles along the Austrian bank north-west of Engelhartszell; the other way up at the foot of the page is a view back to the south from further on. Although Turner’s route upriver was straightforward, his somewhat haphazard use of this book to record it was not. For the geographical sequence of identified views between Vienna and Passau (see under folios 40 recto and 31 recto; D30076, D30058), see this sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Powell 1995, p.68; see also p.241.

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