Ruskin expressed some reservations about his identification of this view as Martigny: 'the pencil marks in the ruin are not so conclusive as I should like to have them'. It does, however, appear to show the castle of La Batiaz at Martigny, which Turner had first sketched on his tour of the Alps in 1802. As in his comments on many of these studies, Ruskin was chiefly interested in discerning Turner's working method: 'The excessive haste with which the colour has been thrown on the sketch, not in the least coinciding with the pencil outlines, and yet the subtlety of the effects wrought as the wash was laid on, render this memorandum, very interesting'.
Gallery label, September 2004
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