Joseph Mallord William TurnerA Mountain Village: ?Wassen 1802

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Artwork details

A Mountain Village: ?Wassen
From Lake Thun Sketchbook
Turner Bequest LXXVI
Date 1802
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 201 x 156 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXVI 30
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 30 Recto:
A Mountain Village: ?Wassen 1802
Turner Bequest LXXVI 30
Pencil on white laid paper, 201 x 156 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘30’ top right
Stamped in black ‘LXXVI 30’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg’s suggestion of Wassen for this mountain village with chalets and church is plausible. A further possibility might be Göschenen.Turner passed through both places on his way along the St Gotthard road in the Reuss valley, and again on his way back. Other drawings probably or certainly of the Reuss and the St Gotthard route in this sketchbook are folios 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 36 verso, 37, 38, 40 (D04687, D04688, D04689, D04690, D04691, D04692, D04693, D04694, D04695, D04697).The St Gotthard road with its famous and frightening sights like the Devil’s and Little Devil’s Bridges effectively marked the scenic climax of Turner’s tour, and in recognition of its pictorial potential he made his sketches ‘particularly lively’, as David Hill has described.1
David Hill, Turner in the Alps. The Journey through France and Switzerland in 1802, London 1992, p.168.

David Blayney Brown
March 2004

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