Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Distant View of the Great St Bernard Pass in the Alps, ?from the Road between Turin and Boffalora

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 186 x 111 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14226
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 41 a

Catalogue entry

The sketches on folios 41 verso–42 verso (D14224–D14226; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 40a–41a) appear to depict views of the landscape between Turin and Boffalora, seen during Turner’s journey en route to Milan. Tourists travelled by diligence, a large public carriage where the luggage was kept on the roof covered by canvas, and Federico Crimi has discovered that diligence trips between Turin and Milan ran three times weekly, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.1
This page contains a small landscape sketch, parallel with the left-hand edge of the sketchbook, which depicts a distant view of the Alps. Turner has annotated the vista with the location of the Great St Bernard Pass in Switzerland and this indicates that he must have been looking north-west from the road to Milan, possibly from a location soon after his departure from Turin.

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

1
Information from L’interprete milanese, ossia guida per l’anno 1823, Milan 1823. See Crimi 2007, p.25 note 22.

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