Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fribourg: The Convent de la Maigrauge, in the Valley of the River Sarine, from the South


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, watercolour and pen on paper
Support: 235 × 335 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXXXV 25

Display caption

One of the sketchbooks used on Turner's 1841 journey to Switzerland contains about twenty studies of Fribourg, mostly recorded in pencil, with the details heightened in red colour. This previously unidentified view is taken from the bottom of the valley of the River Sarine, which runs through and below the main part of Fribourg. Ruskin explained that the sketch was a valuable lesson in composition: 'If you hide the block timbers above the river with your hand, the fortress immediately becomes thin and flimsy; but when the lines of the timber are put in, as you can seen through them everywhere, the fortress walls become instantly firm and solid by the contrast.'

Gallery label, September 2004

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