Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views of Mountains within the French Alps

1820

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 98 × 128 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16676
Turner Bequest CXCII 18 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains two very rough, schematic drawings of mountainous landscape as well as a lengthy inscription concerning the atmospheric conditions of the scene. Turner’s writing is partially illegible in places but can be transcribed as follows: ‘Snow in Shade and Sky in Light Shade of Blue scarcely | a Shadw but warm [?Rep]. The Snow white warmed by the sun | throws up a cloud of Vapour. like V – [where] opposite of the | Sun is the shadow by the cloud is [?deeper] [?Purple] the Half Shade | lighter than the Sky’.
The location of the views is unidentified although they relate to Turner’s return journey through the French Alps between Piedmont and Savoy, and are likely to depict scenes on the north (French) side of the Mont Cenis pass.

Nicola Moorby
April 2013

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