Joseph Mallord William Turner

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Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Pass of St. Gotthard, near Faido
Watercolor over graphite.
11 15/16 x 18 1/2 inches (303 x 469 mm)
Thaw Collection.

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John Ruskin; Kennedy collection (according to E.T. Cook and A. Wedderburn, eds., The Works of John Ruskin, XIII, London, 1904, p. 456n. 2); George Coats (1901); by descent; private collection, United Kingdom; Thos. Agnew & Sons Ltd., London; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 389, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw. Part II. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1985, no. 32 (also in Thaw III, no. 59)
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 59.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 63, p. 134-135.


Watermark: none.
Every spring the ice melts at St. Gotthard's Pass in the Alps near Faido and turns the Ticino River into a torrent that sweeps rocks downstream. Turner traveled there on a tour of Switzerland in 1842 and made a rapid sketch that he showed to John Ruskin on his return to England. Ruskin promptly commissioned this finished watercolor from Turner, arguing that it was "the greatest work he produced in the last period of his art." Turner himself made the rare comment that he was pleased with the result. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Associated names: 

Ruskin, John, 1819-1900, former owner.
Coats, George, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.