One of the highlights of this tour, which saw him travel overland between Genoa and Grenoble, via Provence, was Sisteron in the Alpes Maritimes. This fortifed town sits in wild country at the confluence of the rivers Durance and the Buech and the present landscape, which includes a river, may depict one of these. Turner certainly stayed at Sisteron for a number of days and other watercolours linked to the 1838 tour include: Sisteron from La Cazette to the North (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester); Sisteron from the North, with the Rocher de la Baume (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) and Sisteron from the north-west (Private Collection). What sets the present work apart is Turner’s dynamic use of penwork and his choice of such a variety of colours: red at the left, green in the centre and blue-green to the right.
The present work, like lots 397 and 405 in this sale, was once owned by the great Turner collector John Edward Taylor, the great grandfather-in-law of the present owner.
We are grateful to Ian Warrell and Professor David Hill for their help in cataloguing this work.
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