Sion, Capital of the Canton Valais about 1836
Turner combines the translucency of pure watercolour with opaque body-colour to convey the dazzling fusion of light and mountain mist enveloping the scene. Architecture and mountains appear to emerge from and dissolve back into the atmospheric vapour. It is possible that Turner worked on this during or just after his return from his second visit to Switzerland in 1836. He was accompanied on the trip by his friend and patron Hugh Munro of Novar, a young Scottish landowner and amateur painter.

Glossary Open

Body-colour

Usually refers to watercolour mixed with white pigment that retains the fluidity of watercolour but without the transparency. The term gouache is also used.

Opaque

Something that is not clear, or which does not transmit or reflect light. It can also specifically refer to pigments used to darken areas of photographs.

Watercolour

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

Body-colour, Opaque, Watercolour

Details

  • Acc. No. D NG 864
  • Medium Watercolour and bodycolour on paper
  • Size 24.10 x 30.00 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900