Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Sketches: The North Entrance to Vitry-le-François; Two Sketches of Leverogne in the Val d’Aosta; Aosta from the North-East


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIII 11

Catalogue entry

This page contains four sketches:
i. (main sketch) The north gate and bridge to Vitry-le-François, with the church in the distance, right. The site is almost unrecognisable today. In Turner’s day the River Marne was diverted towards the town to form a moat to its northern side. This has long been filled in, and the bridge removed, although the gate still stands. Turner drew the church in greater detail on the verso (D29053; Turner Bequest CCXCIII 11a).
ii., iii. (top right, inverted) Two small sketches of ‘Livorne’ or Leverogne in the Val d’Aosta. To the left (as the sketches were drawn) is a view of the old bridge and church looking back up the valley, and to the right one of the bridge and church looking down the valley towards Arvier. Turner’s viewpoint is from the road and bridge built to by-pass the extremely narrow main street of the town. The bridge is visible to the right of the right hand sketch. The bridge must originally have been built in Roman times.
iv. (top left, inverted) A thumbnail sketch of ‘Aosta’ from the north-east. Turner sketched a similar aspect on his first visit to Aosta in 1802 (Tate D04503; Turner Bequest LXXIV 11).
Vitry-le-François stands about halfway between Calais and Geneva on Turner’s route south towards the Alps in 1836. The two sketches in the Val d’Aosta must have been squeezed into available space as the sketchbook filled up as Turner approached Aosta.

David Hill
June 2010

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