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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Voie Sarde near Les Échelles 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 69 Verso:
The Voie Sarde near Les Échelles 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 69 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 185 x 114 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘[?Wood]’ bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject of this sketch is the Voie Sarde (Sardinian Way), an ancient Roman road which connected Lyon with Chambéry and which passed through a natural canyon in the Chartreuse Mountains just east of the village of Les Échelles. The road was renovated during the seventeenth-century by Charles Emmanuel II, the Duke of Savoy, see folio 71 verso (D14109), but during the early nineteenth century it was supplanted by a tunnel through the mountains constructed by Napoleon, see folio 73 (D14112). Turner has depicted travellers ascending the steep road through the canyon, using the vertical height of the sketchbook page in order to capture the grand scale of the scenery and the vertiginous drop to the left of the road.

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘The Voie Sarde near Les Échelles 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-voie-sarde-near-les-chelles-r1142964, accessed 17 May 2022.