Jan 24, 2012

Flüelen, from the Lake of Lucerne

Flüelen, from the Lake of Lucerne


Joseph Mallord William Turner

(British, 1775–1851)

Watercolor with gouache and scratch-away

Support: Cream(3) wove paper

Sheet: 29.2 x 47.9 cm (11 1/2 x 18 7/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1954.129


Did you know?

The art critic John Ruskin described the series of watercolors to which this work belongs as "sunset drawings," referring to to the fact that they were made at the end of Turner's career rather than their subject matter.


In this watercolor, created late in his life, J.M.W. Turner depicted the small Swiss town of Flüelen and its shimmering reflection out of violet-colored mist. The work belongs to a group of highly finished works that the artist created during several summer trips to Switzerland between 1841 and 1845. The swirling vortex of light underscores the grandeur of nature, while the inclusion of figures going about their daily lives within the vastness of the Alps is a reminder of the reality of the scene. At the time he painted this view, Turner was considered the great master of Romantic landscape painting in England.

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