Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Views of the Alps near Grand-Croix, on the Ascent to the Pass of Mont Cenis


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 185 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 28 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains three distinct sketches of mountainous landscape. Their position within the sketchbook, in between drawings of Mâcon on the River Saône, does not follow the logical geographical order of Turner’s route through France and the drawings are too rough to be conclusively identified. However, they are likely to depict views near the Pass of Mont Cenis where the artist crossed the French Alps into Italy. Indeed, Turner’s inscription in the bottom right-hand corner of the uppermost study indicates that this represents Grand-Croix, a small hamlet which lies near the Lake of Mont Cenis, on the ascent towards the Pass. During the nineteenth century it was the post station which lay between Lanslebourg in France and Susa in Italy. The village was abandoned, however, during the 1960s following the construction of a dam on the nearby lake. For a more detailed discussion of the Mont Cenis pass and Turner’s related Alpine sketches see the Introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

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