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This oil sketch of Grenoble in France, with Mont St Eynard and the snow-capped Mont Blanc in the distance, was painted after Turner’s 1802 tour, while his recollection of the landscape was fresh. The tour yielded over a hundred drawings of Grenoble and surrounding mountains. In his Grenoble sketchbook Turner made vigorous drawings in pencil and white and black chalk on tinted brown paper – opaque media that allowed him to work with dramatic light and dark tones, in preparation for finished oil paintings. On the strength of these drawings, several paintings, larger in scale

February 2010