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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Deuringschlössle, Bregenz 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Verso:
The Deuringschlössle, Bregenz 1840
Turner Bequest CCCXX 2a
Pencil on white wove paper, 89 x 149 mm
Partial watermark ‘J H’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Bergentz’ bottom centre, and ‘Ma[?rine] | Me[...] | Ea[...]’ top left, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, at the centre the distinctive onion dome and adjacent gable of the Deuringschlössle, a large fortified house (used as a hotel in recent years) high on Bregenz’s Oberstadt, are seen from the west across Thalbachgasse, with the skyline of the Pfänder mountain beyond. The second dome, towards the left, is that of the Martinsturm, as noted by Edward Yardley in his article discussing Turner’s views of the city;1 it is seen more prominently on folio 3 verso (D32268). There are other studies around the city and up on the nearby Gebhardsberg on folios 4 recto–6 verso (D32269–D32274). Despite suggesting Bregenz as the subject of subsequent sketches, Finberg somewhat whimsically transcribed Turner’s scrawled inscription as ‘Borgeley (?)’,2 though it appears to read ‘Bergentz’; the few words added at right-angles to the drawing are written with slightly more care but have yet to be interpreted.
This was the only occasion Turner passed through Bregenz, the capital of the Vorarlberg region of Austria, picturesquely situated overlooking Lake Constance (the Bodensee) at the north-western tip of the narrow western end of the country. He had travelled some two hundred miles south since his last use of the sketchbook in Heidelberg (see folio 3 recto opposite; D32267). Four studies in watercolour, gouache and pencil on blue paper, possibly of Dutch or German manufacture according to paper conservator Peter Bower,3 are also associated with the visit (private collection;4 Courtauld Gallery, London;5 National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin;6 Cooper Gallery, Barnsley7). They show variations of the view looking down over the towers and spires of the old town and west to the lake,8 and were likely at least begun from direct observation,9 like the numerous German, Austrian and Venetian subjects on tinted papers addressed in parallel subsections of the present tour.
See also a pencil study of the Oberstadt on the same occasion, made on one side of a grey sheet (Tate D40177), the other side being used later for a watercolour study at Bolzano (Bozen) (Tate D36155; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 298). From Bregenz, Turner took a south-easterly route towards Venice through the rugged Vorarlberg and Tyrol Alps of Austria via Landeck, into the Austrian territories of northern Italy and the Dolomites by way of Bolzano and Belluno (see the sketchbook’s Introduction),10 as seen in the long sequence of sketches between folios 7 recto and 76 recto (D32275–D32411).11

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Yardley 1983, p.54.
Finberg 1909, II, p.1029.
See Selborne 2008, p.96, and Anne Hodge in Hodge and Niamh Mac Nally, The Works of J.M.W. Turner at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin 2012, p.94 note 2.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.462 no.1349, as ‘Heidelberg’, reproduced.
Ibid., no.1350, as ‘View of Locarno’, reproduced.
Ibid., no.1351, as ‘Rappersweil’, reproduced.
Not in Wilton 1979; published in Yardley 1983, pp.54–5, as ‘A View of Old Bregenz’, reproduced.
See Powell 1995, pp.65, 81 note 8, 155 under no.82; Selborne 2008, pp.96 under no.17, 98 note 2; and Hodge 2012, p.94.
See Hodge 1994, p.94.
See Powell 1995, pp.65, 81 note 9.
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.1030–2.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Deuringschlössle, Bregenz 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-the-deuringschlossle-bregenz-r1196501, accessed 07 August 2022.