Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lake Thun, with the Niesen


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Chalk and graphite on paper
Support: 315 x 473 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXV 44

Catalogue entry

Turner’s label for this drawing, also numbered ‘29’, reads ‘Ville de Thun’. For his excursion on Lake Thun in 1802 see drawings in the Lake Thun sketchbook, for example Tate D04717; Turner Bequest LXXVI 60, a view from the landing stage at Neuhaus at the eastern end of the lake where Turner disembarked for Unterseen. The landing place commands a view over the lake towards the Niesen similar to the one drawn here; the mountain is on the left. As shown in the Lake Thun sketch and a coloured drawing usually thought to have originated in the present sketchbook (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester),1 Turner’s pause here coincided with a storm, which must account for the turbulent sky in this drawing, with its swirling cloud and perhaps lightning.
For another view of the lake from Neuhaus from this sketchbook see D04638; Turner Bequest LXXV 46. David Hill notes that there was a ‘cabaret’ or shelter by the landing stage, from which Turner ‘made a number of sketches’.2
However, Peter Bower has recognised that two drawings thought to come from this sketchbook are on different paper; see Introduction to the sketchbook.
David Hill, Turner in the Alps: The Journey through France & Switzerland in 1802, London 1992, p.109.

David Blayney Brown
October 2011

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