In the last decade of Turner’s life there was a surge of interest from the middle and wealthy classes in watercolour as a medium. The subject of this work is of the Lake of Lucerne in Switzerland. Turner made numerous trips to Europe from 1841 and his subjects included many Swiss landscapes.
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Lake Lucerne: The Bay of Uri, from Brunnen
24.4 x 29.9 cm
Date of work
Watercolour on paper c.1841–2
Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London; he remained a Londoner and kept a Cockney accent all his life despite dominating British landscape painting throughout the first half of the 19th century. He established a reputation in the Royal Academy, first as a topographical watercolourist and then within a few years as a painter of sublime and historical landscapes. From the mid-1790s he settled on the routine he maintained for much of his life: touring in summer and working in the studio in the winter months. He opened his own gallery and had many patrons and admirers as well as detractors. After his death a large body of his works in oil and watercolour was given to the British nation, with many on show at Tate Britain.