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Fortified pass, Val d' Aosta

Turner, Joseph Mallord William (draughtsman)

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Fortified pass, Val d' Aosta


Turner, Joseph Mallord William (draughtsman) [ULAN info: British artist, 1775-1851]







Technique Description

watercolour over black chalk with gum arabic on paper, laid down onto support sheet (paper)


height: (support sheet): 356 mm
width: (support sheet): 526 mm
height: (paper): 324 mm
width: (paper): 480 mm




given: The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum 1931 (Filtered for: Paintings, Drawings and Prints)

John Ruskin; Arthur Severn, sold Sotheby's, 10 May 1931, lot 109, bt. for the Friends of the Fitzwilliam


  1. Ruskin, John Works, [page: 422]
  2. Cormack, Malcolm (1975) J.M.W. Turner, R.A. 1775-1851; a catalogue of Drawings and Watercolours in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Press [page: 34-5]
    [comments: cat. no. 10, pl. 10 (black and white)]
  3. Wilton, Andrew (1979) The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, London?
    [comments: no. 360]


Formerly in the collection of John Ruskin, who described it as ‘a quite stupendous piece of drawing power’. He urged the viewer to ‘note the way the outline of the foreground bush is left by the black blot of the shadow, and then the whole bush created by two scratches for stems’. It passed from him to his protégé Arthur Severn (1843-1931), from whose sale in 1931, where it was acquired by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum.


watercolour (medium)
black chalk (medium)
gum Arabic (medium)
paper (support)

Accession Number

1585 (Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(Reference Number: 13913; Input Date: 2000-10-06 / Last Edit: 2011-07-22)

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