Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Sketches: A Panorama of Mont Blanc from above Chamonix, and Two Thumbnail Sketches of a Mill and Bridge below Bossons


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIII 26

Display caption

In 1836 Turner travelled to Switzerland in company with his friend and patron, Hugh Munro of Novar. Their itinerary can be followed in two small sketchbooks used by Turner on the tour, of which this is one. It contains a number of double-page spreads like this one, which features an extensive panorama from an elevated position. Indeed, Walter Thornbury, the artist's first biographer, recorded how on this tour 'Turner ... at some distance from his companion - generally much higher - applied himself to work in a silent, concentrated frame of mind. The superior elevation he required for the purpose of obtaining greater distance and more of a bird's-eye view.'

Gallery label, February 1992

Catalogue entry