Joseph Mallord William Turner
A Mountain Pass c.1830

Artwork details

A Mountain Pass
Date c.1830
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 308 x 491 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 91
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

The subject of this impressive study
remains enigmatic. It seems to show
a cave or tunnel on the left hand side,
at the end of which there is a distant
gleam of light. This might suggest that
it represents one of the new time-saving routes through the Alps. Napoleon's troops and engineers forged several as they improved communications across Europe.


However, this study is similar to those related to the watercolours for the England and Wales print series. This suggests it might show Peak Cavern, below Peveril Castle, which Turner sketched during
a tour of Derbyshire in 1830.


August 2004

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