Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Michel de Maurienne, and Three Sketches of the Fort of L’Esseillon in the Maurienne Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 148 × 104 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIV 6 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains four sketches, drawn with the book held upright:
i. (top) The approaches to ‘St Michel’, St Michel de Maurienne, with a bridge in the foreground and a church and fort to the left; a closer view than the sketch from a similar angle also in this sketchbook (D29227; Turner Bequest CCXCIV 8).
ii. The fort of L'Esseillon from above; the first of a series of thumbnail profiles continued on the facing page (D29225; Turner Bequest CCXCIV 7), the first two of which here visit the viewpoint of the plate (following p.46) in William Brockedon’s Passes of the Alps (published in 1827–9). Turner painted a finished watercolour of The Fort of L’Esseillon (Metropolitan Museum, New York)1 from a similar but distinct viewpoint.
iii. L’Esseillon from above, a nearer view
iv. L’Esseillon from below, the main fort to the left, and the old, round fort to the right.

David Hill
June 2010

Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.474 no.1450 as ‘Sisteron, Basses Alpes’.

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