Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Lower Glacier, Grindelwald, with the Eiger

1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 154 x 240 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04768
Turner Bequest LXXVII 29

Catalogue entry

This is one of four sketches of Grindelwald in this sketchbook; see also folios 30, 31 and 32 (D04770, D04771, D04772). Turner approached Grindelwald from Lauterbrunnen by way of the gloomy mountain-hung valley of the Schwarz Lütschental. The village provided the closest access to glaciers anywhere in the Alps. Here, Turner confronts the lower glacier plunging through the forest and the wall of the Eiger rising behind it. He made a chalk elaboration of this sketch in his Grenoble series (Tate D04537; Turner Bequest LXXIV 44). However, David Hill has noted that Turner never developed a fully finished subject from his Grindelwald sketches, suggesting that he felt ‘slightly overwhelmed’ by the scenery.1

David Blayney Brown
March 2004

1
David Hill, Turner in the Alps: The Journey through France and Switzerland in 1802, London 1992, p.118.

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