Lucerne from the Walls

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1842

LL 3772

About this object

Turner made four trips to Switzerland between 1841 and 1844. The writer John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) commissioned this watercolour and several others after he saw Turner’s sketches from the first of these trips.

This late watercolour illustrates Turner’s preoccupation with capturing the atmosphere of a place. He returned to Lucerne several times to record the changing play of light on the town’s buildings and Mount Rigi in the background. In this view he illustrates the town bathed in early evening light.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:probably 23 April 1775, died:19 December 1851)
  • Date
    1842
  • Materials
    Watercolour; Wove paper; Scratching out
  • Measurements
    paper: 30.5 cm x 45.9 cm
  • Physical description
    A view over the town towards the Lake of Lucerne. The wall, with its high towers, is visible to the left. There is a flight of steps in the foreground to the viewer's left. On the left, a lady and a group of children are walking towards the viewer. A seated lady and a standing man are positioned in a lookout spot on the wall to the right. The city is spread out below, with two covered bridges, and the lake in the distance.
  • Related people
    Agnew's Gallery (Previous owner); Sir Jeremiah Colman (Previous owner); Sir John Fowler (Previous owner); John and William Vokins (Previous owner); William Hesketh Lever (Previous owner); Edward Nettlefold (Previous owner); John Ruskin (Previous owner); Sampson (Previous owner); David Stoner Crowther (Previous owner); Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    Out of Use Accession Number: WHL 4743
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Trustees of the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 1925
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections

Explore related

Publications

  • British Watercolours and Drawings: Lord Leverhulme's Collection in the Lady Lever Art Gallery

    Jessica Feather

    Author: Jessica Feather
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press & National Museums Liverpool
    Date: 2010
    Description: Lord Leverhulme's Collection catalogue of Watercolours and Drawings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Ownership

Previous owners

  • William Hesketh Lever

    Owned from: 1924
    How acquired: Purchased from Christie's on 2 May 1924, Lot 12, by Gooden and Fox for Lever
    Owned until: 1925
    Disposal method: By descent to the 2nd Viscount Leverhulme
  • David Stoner Crowther

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1924
    Disposal method: Sold at Christie's on 2 May 1924
  • Sampson

    Owned from: 1919
    How acquired: Purchased from Christie's on 2 May 1919, Lot 136
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Sir Jeremiah Colman

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1919
    Disposal method: Sold at Christie's on 2 May 1919, Lot 136
  • Agnew's Gallery

    Owned from: 1909
    How acquired: Purchased from Christie's on 11 June 1909
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Possibly sold to Sir Jeremiah Colman
  • Edward Nettlefold

    Owned from: 1902
    How acquired: Probably purchased from Agnew's
    Owned until: 1909
    Disposal method: Sold at Christie's on 11 June 1909, Lot 1676
  • Agnew's Gallery

    Owned from: 1899
    How acquired: Purchased from Christie's on 6 May 1899, Lot 34
    Owned until: 1902
    Disposal method: Probably sold to Edward Nettlefold
  • Sir John Fowler

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Possibly purchased from John and William Vokins
    Owned until: 1898
    Disposal method: Sold following his death at Christie's on 6 May 1899, Lot 34
  • John and William Vokins

    Owned from: 1875
    How acquired: Purchased from John Ruskin
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Possibly sold to Sir John Fowler
  • John Ruskin

    Owned from: 1842
    How acquired: Purchased from the artist
    Owned until: 1875
    Disposal method: Sold to J and W Vokins
Object view = Fine Art
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