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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner St Maurice 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
St Maurice 1802
Turner Bequest LXXIV 78
Pencil on greyish-buff laid paper, 283 x 214 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘St Maurice Savoy’ bottom left and ‘A’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘LXXIV 78’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg listed this as one of 22 leaves from this sketchbook found ‘in a parcel labelled by Mr. Ruskin – “M. 16. Leaves of S. 229. Laid down.” They have been mounted on cartridge by Mr. Ruskin.’ Evidently, Ruskin isolated these drawings because they were pencil outlines, without the additions of chalk or gouache found elsewhere in the sketchbook.
Turner passed by St Maurice in 1802 on his way north along the lower Rhône Valley from Martigny to Villeneuve and Lake Geneva. The initial letter, if written on the drawing by Turner, would indicate a commission for a finished version, probably in watercolour. ‘A’ might be the wine merchant John Allnutt who may have commissioned two paintings of the Pass of St Gotthard and Devil’s Bridge from Turner in 1804 after seeing watercolours of the subject in his studio that year; he could have considered other subjects from on-the-spot drawings as well. See also from this sketchbook D04575; Turner Bequest LXXIV 82. Turner noted ‘1 St. Maurice’ in a list of French and Swiss subjects on the back of a random pencil sketch (Tate D08253; Turner Bequest CXX m).
Turner designed a totally different view of St Maurice, with its Roman bridge, for the illustrated edition of Samuel Rogers’s poem Italy (1830), where it was engraved by Robert Wallis; the watercolour is Tate D27664; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 147.
Laid down

David Blayney Brown
September 2011

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘St Maurice 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-st-maurice-r1146436, accessed 29 July 2021.