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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Mountains in the Tyrol Alps 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 12 Verso:
Mountains in the Tyrol Alps 1840
Turner Bequest CCCXX 12a
Pencil on white wove paper, 89 x 149 mm
Inscribed by Tuner in pencil ‘[?Shenas]’ centre left, ascending vertically, and ‘Dorf’ bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. Its setting is presumably the Tyrol Alps, travelling east from Sankt Anton am Arlberg (see folio 10 verso opposite; D32282) towards Landeck (see under folio 16 verso; D32294). A spire and a tower on an eminence towards the bottom right are dwarfed by the mountains, as is what may be a figure at the bottom left. Turner’s inscriptions in that corner are likely place names, although their significance is uncertain. One appears to be ‘Shenas’, and the other ‘Dorf’, as Finberg thought.1
The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated a copy of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory with ‘?Scenna near Meran?’2 – that is, Scena (Schenna), north-east of Menrano (Meran). The latter is noted on folio 31 verso (D32322), rather later in the journey. Although not completely consistent, the drawings in this sketchbook appear to be largely in the order of Turner’s route, meaning the present subject would be considerably out of sequence if Bell were correct, and awaits confirmation. There do not seem to be any obvious alternatives along the Sankt Anton-Landeck route.
A long sequence of sketches, mostly characterised as ‘Mountains’ by Finberg (with occasional identifications and transcriptions of the place names marked by the artist), lies between folios 7 recto and 76 recto (D32275–D32411).3 See the sketchbook’s Introduction for the likely overall route between Bregenz and Venice.4

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Finberg 1909, II, p.1030.
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1030.
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.1030–2.
See also Cecilia Powell, Turner in Germany, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1995, pp.65, 81 note 9.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Mountains in the Tyrol Alps 1840 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2018, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-mountains-in-the-tyrol-alps-r1196521, accessed 07 August 2022.