Joseph Mallord William Turner

Village of Gondo from the West, with the Stockalperturm


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 121 × 195 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCIV 25

Catalogue entry

As Turner’s inscription indicates, this sketch depicts Gondo, the last Swiss village on the Simplon Pass road before reaching the Italian border.1 The village nestles within a steep ravine and Turner’s view looks east from the direction of the Gallery of Gondo. Visible on the left-hand side of the composition is the Stockalperturm, a seventeenth-century building with a high square tower, built by the Stockalper family of Brig for the shelter of travellers in this part of the Alps. The details of the drawing are difficult to discern against the dark grey watercolour wash but the artist has employed small white areas of scratching-out to depict the Diveria river (also known as the Doveria) on the right, and a waterfall streaming down the steep slopes above. Further sketches of Gondo can be seen on folios 29 and 43 verso (D16944 and D16969), as well as in the Turin, Como, Lugarno, Maggiore sketchbook (Tate D14314; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 87).

Nicola Moorby
May 2011

Crimi 2007, p.36 note 47. Compare also the print after Major James Cockburn, Le Village de Gondo in Views to Illustrate the Route of the Simplon, London 1822, pl.XXXI.

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