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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

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These nineteen drawings are on separate sheets of paper, which Turner must have carried in a portfolio, or folded, during his tour to the Alps in 1802. They are mostly made in pencil or chalks; only two are coloured. They fall into two groups according to size and type and preparation of paper, identified in each case within Technical notes. Twelve larger drawings are on English, white wove paper, originally made as Imperial by Hayes and Wise, subsequently trimmed to different sizes. These sheets were prepared on both sides with grey wash, probably mostly soot-based but perhaps also involving some indigo. This provided a basis for working in monochrome media, and also for rubbing or scratching out of the original white as highlights; the toned ground would also have reduced glare while working outdoors, and it appears that most of these drawings, despite their size, were indeed made or begun on the spot. A series depicting the Rhinefall at Schaffhausen (running from D04875; Turner Bequest LXXIX A) gave Finberg his name for the group ...
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D04875–D04893
Turner Bequest LXXIX A–S
These nineteen drawings are on separate sheets of paper, which Turner must have carried in a portfolio, or folded, during his tour to the Alps in 1802. They are mostly made in pencil or chalks; only two are coloured. They fall into two groups according to size and type and preparation of paper, identified in each case within Technical notes.
Twelve larger drawings are on English, white wove paper, originally made as Imperial by Hayes and Wise, subsequently trimmed to different sizes. These sheets were prepared on both sides with grey wash, probably mostly soot-based but perhaps also involving some indigo. This provided a basis for working in monochrome media, and also for rubbing or scratching out of the original white as highlights; the toned ground would also have reduced glare while working outdoors, and it appears that most of these drawings, despite their size, were indeed made or begun on the spot. A series depicting the Rhinefall at Schaffhausen (running from D04875; Turner Bequest LXXIX A) gave Finberg his name for the group as a whole, but the range extends much further, for example to the mountains above Chamonix and, probably, the Chartreuse.
A second group consists of smaller sheets of laid paper, five of a buff colour made by Jean-Louis Delagarde at the Papeteries du Marais, Seine at Marne. There is a further, single sheet of grey paper made by Leorier Delisle at Buges Mill, Montargis; this carries a view of Lyons (D04890; Turner Bequest LXXIX P).

David Blayney Brown
August 2013

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Large Folio Drawings of Switzerland and France 1802’, August 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/large-folio-drawings-of-switzerland-and-france-r1148470, accessed 18 October 2017.