Joseph Mallord William Turner

Grenoble Bridge

c.1824

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Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 474 x 692 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25490
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 367

Catalogue entry

See notes to Tate D25468; Turner Bequest 25468 for four progress colour studies for the watercolour Grenoble Bridge (Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland)1 made for Charles Holford apparently in 1824. This is the final stage in the process, with further work to the architecture of the bridge, riverside buildings, a boat on the left and more women washing their laundry in the right foreground. However, considerable detail remains to be added in the final watercolour. There, Turner identified the building on the far left as an inn offering ‘BON LOGIS ICI | A PIED A CHEVAL’ and, aware of the improvements likely to have been made since he visited Grenoble in 1802, put in some builders working on the top of the bridge’s middle tower.
1
Wilton 1979, p.345 no.404.
Technical notes:
The paper is a white wove drawing paper, unidentified by Peter Bower.1 The sheet shows considerable damage, owing to spillage of some liquid that has caused the pigments to run. Andrew Wilton has speculated that the accident occurred in the studio and that otherwise this version might have been taken to completion.2
1
Bower 1990, p.44.
2
Wilton in Turner en France, p.37.
Verso:
Laid down

David Blayney Brown
January 2012

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