Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Broad Valley among Mountains, ?between Trieste and Graz; Mountains Seen from the River Danube

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 127 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30102
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 53

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the loosely rendered main view appears to be over a wide valley. At right-angles on the left is a view of mountainous scenery. As set out in this sketchbook’s Introduction, the general flow of Turner’s itinerary is in reverse of the Turner Bequest foliation, and this page falls within a sequence between folios 55 recto and 49 recto (D30094–D30106) likely (with reservations) to show his route north-east between Trieste to Graz (see respectively under folios 57 recto and 41 verso; D30109, D30079) through the rugged terrain of modern-day Slovenia and southern Austria. See under D30094 for further discussion.
At the bottom, along the gutter and partly framed by pencil lines, is a carefully rendered profile of peaks inscribed ‘Tyroll Alps from the Danube’ over the skyline, and perhaps ‘Danube’ again below. The Alpine Tyrol region of Austria and northern Italy, through which Turner travelled on the outward leg of this tour, is far to the south of the river, and he appears to have used the term somewhat loosely. At any event, this element appears to stem from considerably later in the tour, when he travelled west up the river between Vienna and Passau (as recorded in the present sketchbook) and on to Regensburg.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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