N03170 RED RUIN, LUCERNE 1907
Inscr. ‘C J H 07.’ b.l.
Canvas, 18×32 (46×81).
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1917.
Coll: Presented by the artist to the C.A.S. 1912.
Exh: N.E.A.C., May–June 1907 (65), as ‘Red Ruin: Lucerne’; C.A.S., First Public Exhibition in London, Goupil Gallery, April 1913 (26), as ‘Red Ruin’; C.A.S., Modern Paintings, Belfast, November 1914 (11).
Lit: Holmes, 1936, pp.250–1.
Repr: C.A.S. Report 1914–19, 1920, pl.2.
The artist visited Italy in April 1906 and on the way back sketched this view as well as the view on the Reuss, Lucerne (repr. Baker, 1924, pl.9), from the train. He wrote (loc. cit.): ‘Night was falling when the train stopped outside Lucerne for a few minutes in a snowy wilderness, as desolate and impressive as a winter scene by Hokusai. “Red Ruin, Lucerne”, now at the Tate Gallery, was one of the indirect results.’ He goes on to describe how he took the first version of the picture to the N.E.A.C. in May 1907: ‘Steer happened to be in the Gallery ... and on seeing the “Red Ruin” remarked, “That must have been a pretty cold place. It makes me shiver to look at it.” Interpreting the words as a kindly criticism of the picture's tone, I waited till Steer had gone, chartered a cab and took the thing away…