Joseph Mallord William Turner

Near the Pass of S. Bernadino: A Bridge over a River in a Gorge


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, watercolour and pen on paper
Support: 227 × 327 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXXXVI 17

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It was Turner's mountain subjects that Ruskin admired above all others. He grouped these works in his catalogue after those of Venice to provide a counterpoint to their delicacy and repose, noting that Turner's depictions of rocky peaks and defiles were characterised by 'force of colour, and energy both of form and effect'. Of those exhibited here, he felt that no.72 was 'the grandest sketch in the whole series', with no.74 falling close behind. He particularly relished the way Turner had suggested the physical structure of a granite cliff: 'the pencilling along the edge of the fathest precipice, where sloping lines in an almost equi-distant succession, indicate the jags of the cliff at its most exposed angle.'

Gallery label, August 2004

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