Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Roman Bridge on the Voie Sarde

1819

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 x 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14111
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 72 a

Catalogue entry

Although this sketch is very slight the structure near the bottom right-hand corner of the composition can be identified as the ancient Roman single-arched bridge which stands across the River Guiers Vif on the Voie Sarde (Sardinian Way) near Les Échelles. This historic road which follows the course of a natural canyon in the Chartreuse Mountains and which formed an important part of the trading route between Lyon and Turin, had been renovated during the seventeenth century but was first chartered by the Romans. Until 1860, the bridge marked part of the border between France and Savoy. Turner visited the site as part of his journey east through Savoy to Chambéry and the Mont Cenis pass. For further sketches see folios 70 and 72 (D14106 and D14110).

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

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