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Sculptural Watercolour®  l'Aquarelle sculpturale


La Cascade de la Pissevache

The Pissevache Waterfall in the Upper Rhône Valley



The Pissevache Waterfall near Martigny

Canton Valais, Switzerland

Sculptural Watercolour® in a box frame 70 x 50 x 7 cm


The Pissevache is a lovely, easily-accessible waterfall visible from all routes between Lake Geneva and Martigny. In the early 19th Century, Napoleon turned this into a major highway over the Alps, linking Paris with Rome over the Simplon Pass. The various tunnels and bridges were greatly admired, and there are many interesting accounts of visitors at the time writing about just how exciting a journey this was. From Martigny, others took the famous and very much higher pass: the Grand St-Bernard to Aosta and on to Turin.

The authors usually also mentioned how impressed they were by the Pissevache that at the time was fed entirely naturally by the River Salanfe that takes its water in part from the Dents du Midi, with the result that sometimes this waterfall was a remarkably extensive spectacle. Many artists passed this way, so there is an abundance of paintings, prints and sketches of just what a spectacle this could be.

In the 1950s, a dam was constructed high in the mountains: the Lac de Salanfe at almost 2000m or well over 6000 feet. The flow is now controlled and feeds a small hydro-electric power station, although nevertheless from time to time this waterfall is impressive.


A close-up view of the upper part of the above work.


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