Joseph Mallord William Turner

Martigny; La Bâtiaz from the River Drance


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 212 × 284 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXIV 64

Catalogue entry

Finberg listed this as one of 22 leaves from this sketchbook found ‘in a parcel labelled by Mr. Ruskin – “M. 16. Leaves of S. 229. Laid down.” They have been mounted on cartridge by Mr. Ruskin.’ Evidently, Ruskin isolated these drawings because they were pencil outlines, without the additions of chalk or gouache found elsewhere in the sketchbook.
This seems to be another version, with slightly different foreground and trees, of the subject drawn elsewhere in the sketchbook; in another outline (D04541; Turner Bequest LXXIV 48) and a more finished tonal treatment (D04552; Turner Bequest LXXIV 59). It is the only one of the three to have any previous identification as Martigny but as noted in this catalogue, the inscription on D04552 might offer further corroboration. See notes to the other drawings for the connection with a watercolour once in the collection of John Ruskin (Wolverhampton Art Gallery)1 whose original title is unrecorded2 but which Ruskin variously named ‘Italy of the Olden Time’, ‘Dark Pastoral’ and ‘Scene in Savoy’.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.345 no.401, as untraced.
This watercolour seems to have first belonged to Sir William Pilkington, who may have chosen the subject at the same time as his close friend Walter Fawkes made his choices from Turner’s drawings of 1802.
Laid down

David Blayney Brown
September 2011

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop