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Viaduc des Egratz by Prue Bishop
 
 

The Viaduc des Egratz motor route linking the Autoroute Blanche to the Mont Blanc Tunnel

a 60cm x 80cm x 6cm sculptural watercolour in a box frame

One may only speculate as to the excitement experienced by those nearing St Martin (Sallanches) in 1802. Coach travel ended there, and the tracks ahead could only be navigated by mule-pulled carts, on horseback or on foot.

Around 1797 Turner copied (Tate Britain Access Number: D36545) an earlier and now lost drawing probably by J R Cozens of an adventurous footbridge across 'The Arve Falls' where the river cascaed from les Houches at nearly 1000m down to the Passy Plain at 570m. Even today, this section of the River Arve remains dangerous and inhospitable and without marked paths.

From Turner's sketches, it seems that he kept to the higher and safer route between St Martin and Servoz.

But we may climb this 430m relatively effortlessly in our motor car - on an impressive piece of structural engineering: the 'Viaduc des Egratz' motor-route that connects the Autoroute Blanche to the Mont Blanc Tunnel. We remain blissfully unaware of what is sometimes the raging Arve that shares this valley with us.

 

This work is available for exhibition.  It is not for sale

 

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Prue and John Bishop 2002 - 2018
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