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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Fallen Trees, Chartreuse 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Fallen Trees, Chartreuse 1802
Turner Bequest LXXIV 38
Pencil, black chalk and white gouache on greyish-buff laid paper, 215 x 282 mm
Stamped in black ‘LXXIV 38’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In his catalogue notes for Marlborough House, John Ruskin stated that this drawing of ‘shattered trunks’ was ‘marked ...simply “G.C.” (meaning Grande Chartreuse). It is very noble.’1 One of Turner’s labels is inscribed ‘Gd C’. For display, Ruskin placed the drawing with another, similarly bold, of Grindelwald (D04537; Turner Bequest LXXIV 44) as an antidote to the ‘meek classicism’ of subjects at and near Aosta also exhibited.2 For Turner’s visit to the Chartreuse in 1802 see Introduction to the sketchbook. Trees in the valley near the Grande Chartreuse monastery were regularly felled for timber but also, as Ruskin noted in his diary in June 1849, by avalanches, ‘hurled hither and thither, twisted and mingled in all conditions of form, and all phases of expiring life’.3
Cook and Wedderburn 1904, p.264; Ruskin on Pictures; Cook 1902, p.225.
Quoted by Stainton in Turner en France 1981, p.67.

David Blayney Brown
August 2013

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Fallen Trees, Chartreuse 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-fallen-trees-chartreuse-r1146397, accessed 22 April 2021.