Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bridge near the Gallery of Gondo, on the Approach from the East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 186 × 111 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 89 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains one, or possibly two sketches of the view from the Simplon road towards the Gallery of Gondo,1 one of five galleries or tunnels hewn out of the rock at strategic points along the Simplon road between Domodossola and Brig. Turner’s studies are from the east looking in the direction of the Simplon Pass and visible near the upper right-hand side of the sheet is a bridge spanning the falls of the Alpienbach (also known as the Fressinone or Frassinone) which stood near the entrance of the tunnel on the eastern (Italian) side.
Turner made several sketches of the view both within this sketchbook, see folios 89 verso–90, and 91 (D14317–D14318, and D14320; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 88a–89, and 90), and also within the Passage to the Simplon sketchbook (Tate D16933, D16943, D40960; Turner Bequest CXCIV 23a and 28a, and inside back cover). These studies later formed the basis for The Simplon, c.1833,2 a watercolour vignette which was engraved and published in Scott’s Prose Works, 1834–6 (see Tate T04743).3
For a general discussion of Turner’s journey to the Simplon Pass see the introduction to the sketchbook, and also the introduction to the Passage of the Simplon sketchbook (Tate, Turner Bequest CXCIV).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

See Crimi 2007, pp.33 note 41 and Crimi 2009, p.46 note 18.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, no.1112 (whereabouts unknown).
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London 1913, vol.II, no.535.

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