Joseph Mallord William Turner

Eight Sketches of Gondo, including the Stockalpertum


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 87

Catalogue entry

This page contains eight distinct sketches of Gondo, the first Swiss village (also known as Zwischbergen) on the road to the Simplon Pass road after crossing the Italian border.1 The village nestles within a deep ravine and Turner’s has drawn successive views on the approach from the east, before turning to look behind him from the west. Visible in at least three of the vistas, particularly the study in the bottom left-hand corner, is the Stockalperturm, a seventeenth-century building with a high square tower, built by the Stockalper family of Brig for the shelter of travellers in this part of the Alps. Further sketches of Gondo can be found in the Passage to the Simplon sketchbook (Tate D16936, D16944 and D16969; Turner Bequest CXCIV 25, 29 and 43a).
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

Crimi 2007, p.36 note 47. Compare also the print after Major James Cockburn, Le Village de Gondo in Views to Illustrate the Route of the Simplon, London 1822, pl.XXXI.

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