Object Image

The Opening of the Wallhalla, 1842

Between 1817 and 1844, Turner made seven tours of Germany. In Turner's time, Germany consisted of many different states, formed as the German Confederation in 1814 after the fall of Napoleon, who had ruled since 1806. This painting commemorates the 1842 opening of the Walhalla temple ('Wallhalla' in Turner's spelling), a classical building overlooking the river Danube, constructed under the auspices of king Ludwig I of Bavaria as a symbol of national unity and a monument to great Germans of the past.

At the Royal Academy, Turner exhibited the painting with lines from his poem Fallacies of Hope: 'L'honneur au Roi de Bavière': Who rode on thy relentless car, fallacious Hope? ...

exhibited 1843
Oil paint on mahogany
1127.0 x 2007.0mm
Image and text © Tate Britain, 2022

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Tate Britain
Permanent collection