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During the summer of 1802, following the Peace of Amiens, Turner made a brief, but arduous tour of the Alps. In this sketch, one of over ninety drawings made on buff paper, he depicts the outline of the fortified tower of La Batiaz at Martigny. By this stage on his journey, Turner had already passed the most magnificent peaks of the alpine range. His experience of this sublime scenery was apparently heightened by 'very fine Thunder Storms'. It is possible that the low clouds coming down the valley in this view were responsible for the spots of rain still visible on the paper, demonstrating the hazards of sketching in the open air.

September 2004