This watercolour drawing dates from early in Turner’s career. He visited the Alps for the first time in 1802 and this large watercolour was completed in 1804 from a sketch made on the Devil’s Bridge. The size of the painting and the fact that it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1815 were signs that watercolours were becoming accepted as complete works of art in their own right.
Turner has removed paint by dabbing it when wet and scraping it away, revealing the white paper to represent the mountain streams. He has signed the painting along the contour of the rock face in the upper left hand corner.