J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Distant View of the Mont Cenis Pass; and a Bridge over the River Po, ?Turin 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
?Distant View of the Mont Cenis Pass; and a Bridge over the River Po, ?Turin 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 111 x 186 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil [?Cenis]’ top left of sketch and ‘Po’ within bottom sketch
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘284’ top right and ‘1’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXIV 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The first page in the sketchbook appears to contains two distinct drawings. The upper sketch shows a distant line of mountains, possibly the Alps and the Pass of Mont Cenis where Turner had crossed from France into Italy. The lower vista meanwhile depicts a bridge over a river which the artist has labelled as the ‘Po’. The precise location is currently unidentified but Turner would have first seen the River Po at Turin. Therefore, although it does not form a logical sequence with other sketches of the city (see folio 12, D14166; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 11), it may nevertheless represent a rough record relating to Turin. Federico Crimi has suggested, however, that it depicts a location on the approach to Monte Cenis from the French side, for example near Aiguebelle.1

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

Crimi 2007, p.23 note 16.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘?Distant View of the Mont Cenis Pass; and a Bridge over the River Po, ?Turin 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-distant-view-of-the-mont-cenis-pass-and-a-bridge-over-the-r1142667, accessed 28 May 2024.