J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Schloss Wörth above the Strudel, with Burg Werfenstein down the River Danube 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 32 Recto:
Schloss Wörth above the Strudel, with Burg Werfenstein down the River Danube 1840
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 32
Pencil on cream wove paper, 127 x 198 mm
Partial watermark ‘atman
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?Sand Red]’ below centre, along bank
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘32’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXCIX – 32’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, the view as identified by Cecilia Powell1 is east down the River Danube near the Strudel rapids to the left of the ruined Schloss Wörth (no longer extant) on the rocky Insel Wörth; for views on adjacent pages, see under folio 31 verso (D30059). Burg Werfenstein is outlined above the north bank in the distance towards the right; see also folios 34 recto–37 recto (D30064–D30070); fortuitously, Turner had recently made thumbnail sketches of existing prints of the subject; see folios 12 verso and 13 recto (D30025–D30026). There seems to be a small steamboat towards the left, and there is a written colour note in the shallows on the near side of the central island.
Discussing the artist’s Danube route between folios 31 verso–38 recto (D30059–D30072;2 like much of this sketchbook, apparently used in reverse of their present foliation), Powell has observed that within a brief stretch of two or three miles his ‘most intensive sequence of sketches, occupying fourteen pages, was made during the steamer’s cautious passage upstream from St Nikola to Grein, past the Wirbel and the Strudel’;3 these hazardous features, shown on old maps respectively east and west of Struden and nearby Burg Werfenstein, no longer exist following the elimination of associated rocks to improve navigation later in the nineteenth century. For the Wirbel whirlpool, see under folio 37 recto (D30070).
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

See Powell 1995, p.241
See ibid., p.81 note 32.
Ibid., p.68.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Schloss Wörth above the Strudel, with Burg Werfenstein down the River Danube 1840 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2018, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-schloss-worth-above-the-strudel-with-burg-werfenstein-down-r1196910, accessed 27 January 2022.