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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Würzburg and the Marienberg from the Banks of the River Main North of the City 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 79 Recto:
Würzburg and the Marienberg from the Banks of the River Main North of the City 1840
Turner Bequest CCCIII 78
Pencil on flecked pale blue laid paper, 104 x 170 mm
Partial watermark: Tree of Liberty
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘78’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCCIII – 78’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawings between folio 74 recto and here (D30600–D30610; Turner Bequest CCCIII 73–78), all made with the pages turned horizontally, are distant views of Würzburg, looking south from the sweeping north-westerly bend of the River Main, where the Steinberg and sloping vineyards still provide similar vantage points.
The principal view here is to the south-east and south along the broad bend of the Main downriver of Würzburg. As Cecilia Powell has noted,1 the two drawings form an overall panorama, with the view south to the hilltop Marienberg fortress inverted at the gutter relative to the view along the river, where the only the eastern end of the Marienberg is indicated in profile.
The upper sketch is labelled ‘River in front’ just over the gutter on folio 78 verso opposite (D30609; CCCIII 77a).
Ranged across the centre are various churches and other landmarks: the dome of the Stift Haug church, the spire of St Gertraud’s near the slender riverside Pleichertor, the dome of the Neumünster and spires of the cathedral, the spire of the Marienkapelle, the tower of the Rathaus and the spire of the Neubaukirche. These are all studied in more detail on adjacent pages.
For the extensive sequence of Würzburg views in this sketchbook and others elsewhere, see under folio 72 verso (D30596; CCCIII 71).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Powell 1995, p.245.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Würzburg and the Marienberg from the Banks of the River Main North of the City 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-wurzburg-and-the-marienberg-from-the-banks-of-the-river-main-r1196366, accessed 15 January 2021.