Joseph Mallord William Turner

?A Northern Italian or Swiss Mountains


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 191 × 139 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 188

Catalogue entry

This mountainous subject is unidentified, but may be in the north of Italy or neighbouring Switzerland; see the Introduction to this section for further brief discussion and dating. The orientation is uncertain, but there may be a horizontal view with another at right angles, to which Turner’s uncertain inscription may apply.
There is another mountain drawing on the verso (D34580; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 188v); the views were made on one half of a folded sheet, with D34578 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 187v) opposite the present sketch and D34577 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 187) on its recto.
Finberg noted: ‘(Nos. [Turner Bequest CCCXLIV] 174–226 were among the contents of a parcel endorsed by Mr. [John] Ruskin, – “B. 2. Forty-eight pieces of paper, some double or 4-ple. Pencil outline, same class as B. 1.”).’1
Finberg 1909, II, p.1123.
Technical notes:
The unusually heavy textured paper matches that of another sheet used for similar subjects (Tate D34586–D34589; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 192–193v) and the two were originally one, having been folded into quarters and torn in half. One side appears to have been prepared with a light grey-brown wash.

Matthew Imms
February 2016

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