Joseph Mallord William Turner

Martigny: Bridge over the River Drance, with the Chapel of Our Lady of Compassion, and La Bâtiaz


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk, gouache and graphite on paper
Support: 214 × 284 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXIV 2

Catalogue entry

Turner’s label for this subject is inscribed ‘Le Pont de Martigny dans le Vallais’. He has drawn the bridge over the River Drance, the Chapel of Our Lady of Compassion and the thirteenth-century Castle of La Bâtiaz on its rocky bluff above the town. Worked up with highlights of chalk and gouache and a more detailed rendering of the bridge and castle, the drawing follows an on-the-spot pencil outline from the same sketchbook (D40198). There is another, slightly differently treated finished version from the same source (D40207; Turner Bequest LXXIV P).
Martigny, reached by the St Bernard Pass and along the narrow valley of the Drance, was effectively the halfway point of Turner’s Alpine tour in 1802. The numerous drawings from this sketchbook suggest an extended pause in the town to rest and recoup; see also D04509, D04547 and D04580; Turner Bequest LXXIX 16, 54, 87 for views including La Bâtiaz, while the verso of the present sheet (D40208) has a sketch of the cabriolet that Turner and his travelling companion Newbey Lowson had bought in Paris for their journey and sent on from Geneva to await them at Martigny.
See D40208

David Blayney Brown
September 2011

Read full Catalogue entry

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