Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bridge and Entrance to the Gallery of Gondo

1819

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 121 x 195 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16943
Turner Bequest CXCIV 28 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is one of the most strikingly picturesque locations on the Simplon Pass route, the Gallery of Gondo (also sometimes known as the Grand Gallery), a tunnel built by Napoleon to facilitate the route for travellers within this part of the Alps.1 This view depicts the tunnel’s eastern entrance (on the Italian side) and the bridge built immediately beside it which spanned the small but dramatic falls of the Alpienbach (also known as the Fressinone or Frassinone). The artist has scratched out parts of the grey watercolour wash in order to depict the falling white torrents of the waterfall. For a fuller description and Turner’s numerous sketches of the Gallery of Gondo see folio 24 verso (D16933).

Nicola Moorby
May 2011

1
Compare the print after Major James Cockburn, Bridge and Gallery of Gondo, in Views to Illustrate the Route of the Simplon, London 1822, pl.XXIX. See also Crimi 2007, p.37 note 49.

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