Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fallen Trees, Chartreuse

1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk, gouache and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 215 x 282 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04531
Turner Bequest LXXIV 38

Catalogue entry

In his catalogue notes for Marlborough House, John Ruskin stated that this drawing of ‘shattered trunks’ was ‘marked ...simply “G.C.” (meaning Grande Chartreuse). It is very noble.’1 One of Turner’s labels is inscribed ‘Gd C’. For display, Ruskin placed the drawing with another, similarly bold, of Grindelwald (D04537; Turner Bequest LXXIV 44) as an antidote to the ‘meek classicism’ of subjects at and near Aosta also exhibited.2 For Turner’s visit to the Chartreuse in 1802 see Introduction to the sketchbook. Trees in the valley near the Grande Chartreuse monastery were regularly felled for timber but also, as Ruskin noted in his diary in June 1849, by avalanches, ‘hurled hither and thither, twisted and mingled in all conditions of form, and all phases of expiring life’.3
1
Cook and Wedderburn 1904, p.264; Ruskin on Pictures; Cook 1902, p.225.
2
Ibid.
3
Quoted by Stainton in Turner en France 1981, p.67.
Verso:
Blank

David Blayney Brown
August 2013

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