Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Sketches; Two of Mont Blanc from Chamonix; Mont Blanc from below the Col de la Seigne


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 190 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCIII 20 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains three sketches, drawn with the sketchbook in the upright position, running down the page from the top:
i. Mont Blanc and the Glacier des Bossons from Chamonix. This sketch is annotated with several inscriptions, now indecipherable but presumably relating to weather conditions, and in this and the sketch immediately below, Turner appears to have been recording the same scene successively to note the changes in effect. He sketched the same material on another page of the sketchbook (D29081; Turner Bequest CCXCIII 25a) and in watercolour studies (Tate D35936, D35996; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 93, 152).
ii. Mont Blanc and the Glacier des Bossons from Chamonix, inscribed ‘When the Morn very bad – Blanc the Crown’ and below ‘Boss[ons]’.
iii. Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Noire overlooking the Val Veni, from above the Pont de la Visaille, descending towards Courmayeur from the Col de la Seigne. Turner’s inscription here mistakenly records the ‘Col de Four’ (the Col des Fours, on the direct route from the Col du Bonhomme to the Col de la Seigne), presumably recalling his route over that pass. The view is similar to that recorded in a watercolour of the Col de la Seigne (private collection)1 but is actually taken from considerably further down the valley.

David Hill
June 2010

Christie’s sale, London 8 July 1997, lot 75, as ‘Scene in the Val d’Aosta’.

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