Joseph Mallord William Turner Near the Pass of S. Bernadino: A Bridge over a River in a Gorge ?1843

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Artwork details

Title
Near the Pass of S. Bernadino: A Bridge over a River in a Gorge
From Bellinzona Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCCXXXVI
Date ?1843
Medium Graphite, watercolour and pen on paper
Dimensions Support: 227 x 327 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D33596
Turner Bequest CCCXXXVI 17
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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It was Turner's mountain subjects that Ruskin admired above all others. He grouped these works in his catalogue after those of Venice to provide a counterpoint to their delicacy and repose, noting that Turner's depictions of rocky peaks and defiles were characterised by 'force of colour, and energy both of form and effect'. Of those exhibited here, he felt that no.72 was 'the grandest sketch in the whole series', with no.74 falling close behind. He particularly relished the way Turner had suggested the physical structure of a granite cliff: 'the pencilling along the edge of the fathest precipice, where sloping lines in an almost equi-distant succession, indicate the jags of the cliff at its most exposed angle.'

August 2004

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