Vèrres in the Val d'Aosta about 1840
The Italian Alps provided Turner with some of his most dynamic compositions. Verres is built up on both banks of a narrow gorge spanned by a bridge. By illuminating the bridge and the buildings in a brilliant creamy white Turner draws attention to their structure and underlines their vulnerability in relation to the dramatic natural setting. Architectural details are picked out in red ink. Dominating the scene, however, are the stormy clouds, rocky mountains and turbulent water described vividly through colourful washes and animated brushwork. Pencil sketches made during Turner's 1836 tour probably form the basis for this watercolour.

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Wash

A transparent layer of diluted ink or watercolour.

Watercolour

A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Composition, Wash, Watercolour

Details

  • Acc. No. D NG 865
  • Medium Watercolour, pen and red ink and scraping out on paper
  • Size 25.60 x 27.80 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900