Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bridge at Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin


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 59 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is the town of Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin which lies on the River Guiers, approximately twenty miles west of Chambéry. The location forms part of the border between Isère and Savoy, and indeed the town is actually divided into two separate settlements, both sharing the same name but situated respectively on the south and north banks of the river. Since 1815 Savoy had been part of the Italian Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and consequently the nineteenth-century traveller crossing the border from France was obliged to present their luggage for inspection at custom houses in both places.1
The focus of this view is the single-arched bridge from which Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin derives its name. Turner’s viewpoint looks north-west from the Savoy side of the river, standing beneath the Carmelite church (Église des Carmes), part of which is visible in the top right-hand corner. Further drawings relating to Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin can be found on folios 56, 57 and 60 verso (D14078, D14080 and D14087). The town also features within the Return from Italy sketchbook (see Tate D16705; Turner Bequest CXCII 33).

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

Heinrich August O. Reichard, A Descriptive Road Book of France, London 1829, p.305.

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