Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Panorama of Mont Blanc from above Chamonix


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIII 25 a

Catalogue entry

This is the right half of a two-part panorama of Mont Blanc from above Chamonix near the Pierre Ruskin, looking to the Glacier des Bossons with the summit dome of Mont Blanc above centre, and the Aiguille du Gouter to the right; it is continued from D29082; Turner Bequest CCXCIII 26, opposite. Turner recorded the same view in two watercolour studies (Tate D35936 and D35996; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 93 and 152). The view here is inverted in relation to the main sequence of sketches in the sketchbook.
Ruskin’s identification of Turner’s viewpoint as the Brévent, quoted by Finberg, is a little misleading. The viewpoint is actually on the lower slopes of the Brévent, hardly above the built-up area of Chamonix, and only just above the level of the base station for the modern Brévent telecabine. It was a spot much favoured by Ruskin himself, and nearby is the ‘Pierre Ruskin’, a large boulder that now carries a commemorative plaque to him.

David Hill
June 2010

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