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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Views of Bamberg, with the Geyerswörth Palace, Altes Rathaus, Obere Pfarrkirche, Michaelsberg and Cathedral 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 26 Verso:
Views of Bamberg, with the Geyerswörth Palace, Altes Rathaus, Obere Pfarrkirche, Michaelsberg and Cathedral 1840
D31327
Turner Bequest CCCX 26a
Pencil on cream wove paper, 198 x 126 mm
Partial watermark ‘J. Wha
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Back of 3 Crowns’ below centre
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There are five bands of sketches down the vertical page, the upper three aligned with the sketchbook’s foliation, and the two below inverted. Cecilia Powell has identified the subjects,1 which show various aspects of central Bamberg, not far from where Turner was staying at the Drei Kronen hotel (Three Crowns); for numerous other views of the town in this sketchbook, see under folio 19 recto (D31312).2
At the top is the domed Geyerswörth palace at the north end of the island in the River Regnitz in the middle of the town, with the lantern of the Altes Rathaus set on its bridge beyond, and the twin spires of the Michaelsberg abbey in the distance to the west-north-west. The second view is from near the river a little further south, looking west to the Gothic Obere Pfarrkirche, with the enclosed platform around the top of its tower, and the dome of the Geyerswörth on the right. The third drawing, left of centre, is a more generic street view at the ‘Back of [the] 3 Crowns’, as Turner notes.
Of the two drawings the other way up, the upper again shows the Altes Rathaus across the Obere Brücke on the right with the Geyerswörth now on the left and the Obere Pfarrkirche beyond to the south-west. Second, towards the centre of the page, is a less detailed variant, this time with the spires of the Cathedral in the gap, towards the west. Trees along the river now obscure some sightlines.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, pp.144, 243.
2
See also Powell 1995, pp.71, 82 note 58.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Views of Bamberg, with the Geyerswörth Palace, Altes Rathaus, Obere Pfarrkirche, Michaelsberg and Cathedral 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-views-of-bamberg-with-the-geyersworth-palace-altes-rathaus-r1196115, accessed 28 November 2021.