Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Isère Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 452 × 593 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXIX K

Catalogue entry

This sketch was made on one of the large loose sheets of French paper that Turner evidently bought in Paris to take with him to Savoy and Switzerland in 1802. It is rather different in handling than the other drawings in this group, being entirely in pencil and showing distinctive hooked, cursive marks. Identified by Finberg as ‘probably near Sallenches’ the subject seems to the entrance to the Isère Valley, from somewhere near La Frette on the way to Grenoble; compare, for example, the coloured drawing from the St Gothard and Mont Blanc sketchbook (Tate D04618; Turner Bequest LXXV 26) showing a similar panorama from the old Lyons road.
Technical notes:
As well as large sheets of grey-washed English paper (see notes to See D04875 in this group), Turner had with him in 1802 rather smaller sheets of self-coloured buff laid French paper, presumably acquired in Paris as most are from the same maker, Jean-Louis Delagarde of the Papeteries du Marais, Seine et Marne, as identified by Peter Bower. These papers are similar to those in the France, Savoy, Piedmont and Grenoble sketchbooks (Tate Turner Bequest LXXIII, LXXIV).1
Bower 1990, p.88.
Laid down

David Blayney Brown
January 2011

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