Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Sketches: A Panorama of Mont Blanc from above Chamonix, and Two Thumbnail Sketches of a Mill and Bridge below Bossons

1836

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D29082
Turner Bequest CCXCIII 26

Display caption

In 1836 Turner travelled to Switzerland in company with his friend and patron, Hugh Munro of Novar. Their itinerary can be followed in two small sketchbooks used by Turner on the tour, of which this is one. It contains a number of double-page spreads like this one, which features an extensive panorama from an elevated position. Indeed, Walter Thornbury, the artist's first biographer, recorded how on this tour 'Turner ... at some distance from his companion - generally much higher - applied himself to work in a silent, concentrated frame of mind. The superior elevation he required for the purpose of obtaining greater distance and more of a bird's-eye view.'

Gallery label, February 1992

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Catalogue entry

This page contains three sketches, drawn inverted in relation to the main sequence of subjects in the sketchbook:
i. (main sketch) The left half of a two-part panorama of Mont Blanc from above Chamonix, looking up the valley towards the Glacier du Bois and the Aiguille Verte from not far from the Pierre Ruskin, continued to right on D29081; Turner Bequest CCXCIII 25a, opposite (see catalogue notes). Turner sketched the same view in a watercolour study (Tate D25439; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 316).
ii. (lower left, in relation to main sketch) A tiny thumbnail sketch of a ‘Mill [below the] Glacier [des] Bossons’.
iii. (above left, in relation to main sketch, and inverted) A tiny and hardly decipherable thumbnail sketch of a bridge and the valley floor below the Glacier des ‘Bossons’. Two other notations are indecipherable.

David Hill
June 2010

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