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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Mountains near the Simplon Pass, with the Old Stockalper Hospice 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 4 Verso:
Mountains near the Simplon Pass, with the Old Stockalper Hospice 1819
D16897
Turner Bequest CXCIV 4 a
Pencil and grey watercolour wash on white wove paper, 121 x 195 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Clouds darker Mt C’ and ‘Cloud’ top left, ‘Clouds Lighter than Snow’ and ‘[?S...]’ bottom centre
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketch represents a scene within the Swiss Alps, seen from the road to the Simplon Pass. The details of the pencil against the background of the grey watercolour wash are difficult to decipher. However, visible on the right-hand side (and repeated in the top right-hand corner), is part of a building with a decorative bell tower which is likely to depict the Old Hospice (Alter Spittel). This establishment, which stands a couple of miles south of the Simplon Pass, was renovated during the seventeenth century by Kaspar Jodok von Stockalper (1609–91) for the relief of travellers through the mountains. For further sketches see folio 5 (D16898). Meanwhile, the tall peak dominating the centre of the composition may represent the Hübschhorn, to the east of the hospice. Turner has employed scratching out to depict snow covering the summit and has also made several notes describing the atmospheric conditions and tonal effects observed within the view.

Nicola Moorby
April 2011

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Mountains near the Simplon Pass, with the Old Stockalper Hospice 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2011, 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-mountains-near-the-simplon-pass-with-the-old-stockalper-r1132772, accessed 25 May 2024.