Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of the Gondo Ravine, and One of the Interior of the Gallery

1819

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 121 × 195 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16919
Turner Bequest CXCIV 15 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains three distinct sketches. One, on the right-hand side of the page, depicts the entrance to the Gondo Ravine (Gondoschlucht), a narrow, mountainous gorge near the Swiss/Italian border on the route to the Simplon Pass. A second view of the ravine can be seen in the bottom left-hand corner of the sheet, parallel with the left-hand edge. The remaining study, in the top left-hand corner (also parallel with the left-hand edge) appears to depict the interior of the Gallery of Gondo, one of five galleries or tunnels hewn out of the rock at strategic points along the road between Domodossola and Brig. These tunnels, built by Napoleon at the beginning of the nineteenth century, made passage through the mountains possible, even during times of heavy snowfall.
For a general discussion of Turner’s expedition to the Simplon Pass see the introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
April 2011

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