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Sculptural Watercolour®  l'Aquarelle sculpturale

 

St-Martin-de-la-Porte in the Maurienne Valley, Savoie, France

 

St-Martin-de-la-Porte in the Maurienne Valley, Savoie, France

Sculptural Watercolour® in a box frame 60 x 80 x 7 cm

 

The Maurienne Valley has always been a most important route linking France to Italy over the Mont Cenis Pass and nowadays via the Frejus Tunnel.

It is full of the most interesting history. In addition to being a main trading route for centuries, it has also seen the movement of massive military forces; the most important under the command of the Romans, Charlemagne and Napoleon. Forces under Hitler and Mussolini also passed this way. For 700 years, this was part of the Kingdom of Savoy.

Today, the valley has become a major attraction for cyclists, and one of the many interesting climbs passes through St-Martin-de-la-Porte and over the nearby Col-de-la-Porte following a mountainous route that descends back into the main valley at St-Michel-de-Maurienne.

Prue Bishop captures not only the immensity of the mountains bordering this valley, but also their 'flow'; a reminder that the Alps are still geologically on the way upwards! This 'flow' is especially striking in the three-dimensional original of this work when the observer draws a parallel with mountainous, clashing waves in a stormy sea.

The mountain in the centre of this Sculptural Watercolour® is the first part of the ridge of peaks that includes the Grand Perron des Encombres 2824m (9265ft) that is part of the Massif de la Vanoise. One may drive then hike to this peak.

When JMW Turner came this way - more than once - in the first half of the 19th Century, he must also have been struck by these particular mountains as he recorded their shapes in a sketchbook, notably the sharply-jagged skyline behind the church.

 

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