Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Susa from the Descent from Mont Cenis


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 88 a

Catalogue entry

Turner crossed the Alps from France and Savoy via the pass of Mont Cenis, a mountain road built by Napoleon during the early nineteenth century. The first town reached by the traveller on the Italian side of the pass was Susa and this sketch appears to depict the approach from the north-west. The road descending from the mountains can be seen on left, whilst Susa is visible within the plain to the right, identifiable from the structure denoting the Roman Arch of Augustus, see folio 37 verso (D14050). The artist has labelled the drawing ‘Mt Cenis’ and has further annotated it with notes indicating the appearance of the snow-covered Alpine slopes. For a more detailed discussion of Turner’s arrival in Italy and the related Alpine sketches see the Introduction to the sketchbook.
On the far left-hand side of the page is part of a separate landscape composition which has spilled over from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 89 (D14142).

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

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