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Turner’s label for this drawing reads ‘Le Montagne vis a vis St Martin avec le Arve Savoy’ [sic], reflecting the prominence given to Mont Blanc. The view is actually from Sallanches, and represents what was for many travellers their first clear view of the massif if approaching, as Turner did, from Bonneville and Cluses. With its tiled houses, villagers, flock of sheep and screen of trees, the drawing served as the basis of the watercolour made c.1809, perhaps for Walter Fawkes (private collection).1 Turner drew a similar view on a sheet of sketches around Cluses and Sallanches during his tour with H.A.J. Munro of Novar in 1836 (see the Val d’Aosta sketchbook, Tate D29087, Turner Bequest CCXCIII 28a).
Turner listed ‘Salenche’ twice among subjects commissioned, in hand or ‘done’ at the front of his album of 1802 dawings (see Technical notes to the Grenoble sketchbook, Tate Turner Bequest LXXIV).
Wilton 1979, p.342 no.379; sold Sotheby's, London, 14 July 1994, no.130..