Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Bridge over a Mountain Stream: ?Gorges du Guiers Mort, Chartreuse


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk and graphite on paper
Support: 455 × 603 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXIX N

Catalogue entry

This sketch was made on one of the large loose sheets of buff French paper that Turner took with him to France and Switzerland in 1802. For drawings certainly of the ‘Little Devil’s Bridge’, or Pfaffensprung or ‘Priest’s Leap’ bridge over the River Reuss on the way to Wassen via the St Gotthard road, see the Lake Thun and St Gothard and Mont Blanc sketchbooks (Tate D04732–D04733; Turner Bequest LXXVI 72–3 and Tate D04628; Turner Bequest LXXV 36). Finberg’s suggestion that this sketch depicts the same bridge is not wholly convincing as the gorge seems shallower and less dramatic. For a similar view, perhaps of the same site, see D04889; Turner Bequest LXXIX O in this series. In both cases it seems unlikely that Turner could have climbed into the gorge of the Reuss to make such large drawings. The bridge might instead be in the Chartreuse, in the Gorges du Guiers Mort.
Technical notes:
For the French paper see D04885.
Laid down

David Blayney Brown
January 2012

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