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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Source of the Arveyron 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Source of the Arveyron 1802
Turner Bequest LXXIX M
Pencil, black chalk, watercolour and gouache with rubbing out on white wove paper prepared with a grey wash, 546 x 722 mm
Stamped in black ‘LXXIX M’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
See notes to D04880; Turner Bequest LXXIX F for drawings of the Valley of Chamonix and Mer de Glace made on large loose sheets of grey-washed paper. This coloured study shows much the same subject as Turner drew in the St Gothard and Mont Blanc sketchbook (Tate D04613; Turner Bequest LXXV 21); the fountain of the River Arveyron in the immediate foreground on the left, springing from a cave at the base of the former Glacier du Bois emanating from the Mer de Glace. However, Turner has not drawn so many rocks in the foreground and has largely omitted the mountains above the glacier. Hence the St Gothard Mont Blanc study, rather than this one, must have been chosen as the basis of the watercolour made for Walter Fawkes which, as David Hill and more recently by Eric Shanes have argued, was exhibited as Glacier and Source of the Arveron, Going up to the Mer de Glace at the Royal Academy in 1803 (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff).1
Of the large separate studies drawn on the 1802 tour, this is one of only two to be coloured; the other is Tate D04882; Turner Bequest LXXIX H.
Wilton 1979, p.342 no.376, as ‘Montanvert, Valley of Chamouni’.
Technical notes:
For the paper and preparation see D04875.
Laid down

David Blayney Brown
January 2012

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The Source of the Arveyron 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-source-of-the-arveyron-r1148463, accessed 18 May 2024.