Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Staubbachfall, Lauterbrunnen

1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 315 x 473 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04624
Turner Bequest LXXV 32

Catalogue entry

Turner’s label for this drawing, also numbered ‘22’, reads ‘Mt Jungfrau, Starback’. For drawings of Lauterbrunnen from this sketchbook see note to D04623; Turner Bequest LXXV 31. As well as a view along the valley floor from near the village, Turner made this drawing from the village itself, depicting its famous feature, the Staubbachfall, one of the highest waterfalls in Europe which seems to overhang the chalets. The peak of the Jungfrau is glimpsed at top left. As David Hill notes, the village had a good inn, the Capricorn, situated opposite the waterfall, where Turner may have stayed.1 Certainly the effect of a sunny summer morning is vividly conveyed in the watercolour Turner based on this drawing, in which he included the water pump by the road and the large chalet (perhaps the inn?) on the right and added village women washing laundry to the foreground – familiar, homely motifs to counterbalance the sublimity of the falls and mountains. The watercolour Fall of the Staubach, in the Valley of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland was made in 1809 for Walter Fawkes (private collection)2 and listed in the Greenwich sketchbook (Tate D06824; Turner Bequest CII 52).
1
Hill 1992, p.114.
2
Wilton 1979, p.343 no.384.
Verso:
Blank
Inscribed by an unknown hand in pencil ‘246’

David Blayney Brown
October 2011

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