Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Mountain Pass


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 308 × 491 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 91

Display caption

The subject of this impressive study
remains enigmatic. It seems to show
a cave or tunnel on the left hand side,
at the end of which there is a distant
gleam of light. This might suggest that
it represents one of the new time-saving routes through the Alps. Napoleon's troops and engineers forged several as they improved communications across Europe.


However, this study is similar to those related to the watercolours for the England and Wales print series. This suggests it might show Peak Cavern, below Peveril Castle, which Turner sketched during
a tour of Derbyshire in 1830.


Gallery label, August 2004

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