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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Geneva from the Quai du Mont Blanc 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 35 Recto:
Geneva from the Quai du Mont Blanc 1802
Turner Bequest LXXIII 35
Pencil, with trials of blue, yellow and pink watercolour, on grey-buff laid paper, 138 x 215 mm
Stamped in black ‘LXXIII 35’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
For Geneva see especially folio 5 of this sketchbook (D04397), and also folios 39–42 (D04433–D04438). Here, the city with the cathedral of St Pierre is seen at right and Mont Salève in the distance, from a position looking south from the Quai du Mont Blanc. This view of Geneva and the lakeside activity suggested the foreground of the finished watercolour Turner made for Walter Fawkes (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut).1 The trials of blue, yellow and pink watercolour at lower left must have been made as he worked on it with the sketchbook alongside. The sketch on folio 5 was used for the background of the Fawkes watercolour and also has colour trials. This combination of his on-the-spot sketches enabled Turner to develop a composition that set the city beside a larger expanse of water than could really be seen from the Quai. Another version of the finished subject is in the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad.2

David Blayney Brown
June 2004

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.342 no.370 reproduced.
Ibid., p.343 no.382.

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Geneva from the Quai du Mont Blanc 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2004, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-geneva-from-the-quai-du-mont-blanc-r1133056, accessed 29 July 2021.