Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Town in a Mountain Valley ?in the Tyrol Alps or Dolomites

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 89 × 149 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D32316
Turner Bequest CCCXX 28 a

Catalogue entry

The main drawing was made with the page turned horizontally, from a high vantage point near what is likely a wayside shrine in the foreground. In the river valley below is a town or village clustered round a slender Baroque spire, with a distant castle on the rocky skyline beyond. At the bottom left, framed by pencil lines, is a thumbnail sketch of what seems to be much the same view, this time with dark trees in the foreground.
A long sequence of sketches, mostly characterised as ‘Mountains’ by Finberg (with occasional identifications and transcriptions of the place names marked by the artist), lies between folios 7 recto and 76 recto (D32275–D32411).1 See the sketchbook’s Introduction for the likely overall route between Bregenz and Venice.2

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.1030–2.
2
See also Cecilia Powell, Turner in Germany, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1995, pp.65, 81 note 9.

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