Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fribourg: The Convent de la Maigrauge, in the Valley of the River Sarine, from the South

1841

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite, watercolour and pen on paper
Dimensions
Support: 235 x 335 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D33565
Turner Bequest CCCXXXV 25

Display caption

One of the sketchbooks used on Turner's 1841 journey to Switzerland contains about twenty studies of Fribourg, mostly recorded in pencil, with the details heightened in red colour. This previously unidentified view is taken from the bottom of the valley of the River Sarine, which runs through and below the main part of Fribourg. Ruskin explained that the sketch was a valuable lesson in composition: 'If you hide the block timbers above the river with your hand, the fortress immediately becomes thin and flimsy; but when the lines of the timber are put in, as you can seen through them everywhere, the fortress walls become instantly firm and solid by the contrast.'

Gallery label, September 2004