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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The View up the River Mur from the Grieskai, Graz, to the Schlossberg 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 43 Recto:
The View up the River Mur from the Grieskai, Graz, to the Schlossberg 1840
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 43
Pencil on cream wove paper, 127 x 198 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘W’ below centre, ‘W’ towards bottom right, ‘Pil’ top right, beside tower, and ‘Pil’ centre right, above tower
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘43’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXCIX – 43’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, the view is north-east across the River Mur to the Schlossberg, with the Uhrturm clocktower on its right, just to the left of the tall, domed tower of the Franziskanerkirche. Turner has written ‘Pil’ (probably overwriting ‘Col’1) beside it, indicating the pilasters around the octagonal upper stages (rather than columns as he first seems to have thought), and ‘Pil’ again above the lower tower on the right. The viewpoint is the Grieskai,2 although the buildings on the left are not immediately recognisable. Compare the similar prospect on the verso (D30083), and the recto and verso of folio 42 (D30080–D300081).
Turner’s views of Graz are mainly concentrated between folios 41 verso and 48 recto (D30079–D30092), and were likely made in reverse of the sketchbook’s present foliated order; see under D30079 for further discussion.3 In his 1909 Inventory, in his checklist of what he called the ‘Danube and Graz’ sketchbook (dated to c.1837–40),4 Finberg had recognised folios 42 recto–45 recto (D30080–D30086) as showing the city;5 in 1930’s In Venice with Turner, he linked the book among others to a supposed 1835 tour to the city. Apart from mentioning ‘sketches on the Danube between Vienna and Lintz’, his only other comment appears slightly bemused: ‘I am not sure that he went to Graz; the sketches on pp. 42 to 45 seem to have been made from a distance.’6

Matthew Imms
September 2018

As read by Powell, 1995, p.241.
See ibid.
See also ibid., pp.66, 81 note 22.
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.967–70.
Ibid., p.969.
Finberg 1930, p.168.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The View up the River Mur from the Grieskai, Graz, to the Schlossberg 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-view-up-the-river-mur-from-the-grieskai-graz-to-the-r1196932, accessed 25 May 2022.