Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Voie Sarde near Les Échelles

1819

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 185 x 114 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14105
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 69 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is the Voie Sarde (Sardinian Way), an ancient Roman road which connected Lyon with Chambéry and which passed through a natural canyon in the Chartreuse Mountains just east of the village of Les Échelles. The road was renovated during the seventeenth-century by Charles Emmanuel II, the Duke of Savoy, see folio 71 verso (D14109), but during the early nineteenth century it was supplanted by a tunnel through the mountains constructed by Napoleon, see folio 73 (D14112). Turner has depicted travellers ascending the steep road through the canyon, using the vertical height of the sketchbook page in order to capture the grand scale of the scenery and the vertiginous drop to the left of the road.

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

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