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Turner toured Switzerland every year from 1841 to 1844, each trip lasting an average of three months. He was fascinated by the dramatic landscape of the mountains, the ethereal effects of atmosphere and light, and by picturesque Swiss towns and shimmering Alpine lakes. The majority of watercolours in the Turner Bequest from the 1840s are devoted to Swiss subjects.
Pilatus is one of the best-known mountains on Lake Lucerne. Turner uses the mists surrounding its peak to picturesque effect, producing a poetic, hazy essay in colour and light, that is one of his most evocative studies of Alpine sunset.

September 2004