Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Road into Martigny from Sembrancher, the Castle of La Bâtiaz Overlooking the Rhône Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, chalk and gouache on paper
Support: 282 × 211 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXIV 16

Display caption

During the summer of 1802, following the Peace of Amiens, Turner made a brief, but arduous tour of the Alps. In this sketch, one of over ninety drawings made on buff paper, he depicts the outline of the fortified tower of La Batiaz at Martigny. By this stage on his journey, Turner had already passed the most magnificent peaks of the alpine range. His experience of this sublime scenery was apparently heightened by 'very fine Thunder Storms'. It is possible that the low clouds coming down the valley in this view were responsible for the spots of rain still visible on the paper, demonstrating the hazards of sketching in the open air.

Gallery label, September 2004

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