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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Martigny: Street below La Bâtiaz with a Religious Procession 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Martigny: Street below La Bâtiaz with a Religious Procession 1802
Turner Bequest LXXIV 87
Pencil on greyish-buff laid paper, 209 x 282 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Procession for/in Rain | Priests with images preceded by | the Virgin with Bells all the women with cravats white’ bottom right
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘945’ bottom left
Inscribed by an unknown hand in pencil ‘87’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘LXXIV 87’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg listed this leaf as ‘part of a parcel labelled by Mr. Ruskin – “R. 277. Grenoble series. Inferior drawings.”’ The drawings in this group are pencil outlines, lacking the additions of chalk or gouache found elsewhere in the sketchbook.
For Martigny subjects from this sketchbook see notes to D04494; Turner Beq uest LXXIV 2. This quick but expressive outline shows a busy street in the town, with a procession on a festival or saint’s day. Turner’s inscription has usually been read as describing a procession ‘for’ rain, but David Hill prefers ‘in’ and states that the weather turned wet while Turner was at Martigny. However, the paper is not marked by the raindrops that seem to have fallen on another drawing of the town from the present series (D04509; Turner Bequest LXXIV 16).
Together with a more finished, upright drawing of La Bâtiaz overlooking a sunlit street, from the same sketchbook (D04547; Turner Bequest LXXIV 54), this sketch served for Turner’s vignette Martigny made to illustrate Samuel Rogers’s Italy (1830); for the watercolour see Tate D27671; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 154. The vignette extends the view on the left to include the inn, La Cygne, where Turner stayed in Martigny, and the cabriolet he used on tour in 1802, taken from the sketch also from this sketchbook (D40208).
See D40198, with a further view of Martigny

David Blayney Brown
September 2011

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Martigny: Street below La Bâtiaz with a Religious Procession 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2011, 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-martigny-street-below-la-batiaz-with-a-religious-procession-r1146445, accessed 18 September 2021.