View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Fluelen lies at the southern end of Lake Lucerne and was an important point on the route to Italy via the St Gotthard Pass. In his watercolours of Fluelen, Turner condenses the essence of the town into its two most prominent buildings: the baroque church of Sts George and Nikolaus and the medieval keep known as Schlosschen Rudenz. Munro of Novar was the first owner of the finished watercolour based on this study, but later exchanged it for one of the Swiss subjects owned by Ruskin (see no.39). While travelling in Switzerland in 1852, Ruskin went to Fluelen to seek out Turner's viewpoint. In a letter to his father he noted that 'there is no point from which he could have got his view. He supposes himself in the air'.
Gallery label, August 2004