Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Pass of the Splügen: Sample Study c.1841–2

Artwork details

The Pass of the Splügen: Sample Study
Date c.1841–2
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 243 x 304 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 277
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

One of the Swiss subjects Turner completed in 1842, as a specimen of his new style, was based on this study. When Ruskin saw the finished work he was very keen to acquire it, but delayed acting until he had sought his father's approval. By that time it had been bought by H.A.J.Munro of Novar. Ruskin felt this loss particularly deeply because he considered the watercolour to be 'the noblest Alpine drawing Turner had ever till then made' and 'the best Swiss landscape yet painted by man'. It was not until 1878, when Munro's collection was sold at Christie's, that a group of Ruskin's admirers were able to present him with the watercolour (now in a private collection).

September 2004

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