J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin In the Pass of St Gotthard, Switzerland c.1796

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
In the Pass of St Gotthard, Switzerland c.1796
D36553
Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 32
Pencil and grey and ?grey-blue wash on white wove paper, 242 x 187 mm laid on a ruled mount of white wove paper, 283 x 222 mm
Watermark ‘J WHATMAN’,
Stamped in black ‘CCCLXXV 32’ bottom right
Inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ‘? Belonged originally in Inventory CCCLXXIV? CFB’ on mount, top left, and in another modern hand in pencil ‘9½ – 7¿’ on mount, bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Provenance:
Probably commissioned by Dr Thomas Monro
Monro’s posthumous sale, Christie’s, London, 26–28 June and 1–2 July 1833 (day and lot number not known)
Bought by or on behalf of Turner
The pencil work is by Girtin. This was probably copied from a sketch by John Robert Cozens (1752–1797) from the ‘Payne Knight’ series of 1776, though the original has not been identified. The quality of the washes does not seem to be high and it is just possible that they are by a hand other than Turner’s, though the present condition of the sheet makes such judgments difficult.
Technical notes:
The sheet is discoloured from prolonged exposure. It is laid down on a paper mount (cut from an album) with a ruled pencil border, which corresponds with the type of mount used in the two ‘Monro School’ albums at Tate (Turner Bequest CCCLXXIII, CCCLXXIV) and the two Savoy Chapel subjects, Tate D36523 and D36526 (Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 2, 5); see also Tate D36524 (Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 3).
Verso:
Blank; inscribed, probably by Thomas Girtin, in pencil ‘Road near Mt. St Gothard in the | Canton of Uri. -’; laid down on album page.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘In the Pass of St Gotthard, Switzerland c.1796 by Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin’, catalogue entry, April 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-thomas-girtin-in-the-pass-of-st-gotthard-switzerland-r1141257, accessed 03 March 2015.