It is hard to imagine how exciting it
must have been for Turner, who had
never previously travelled abroad,
finally to cross to the Continent. He was twenty-seven, and already a successful artist and Royal Academician. He had been on many sketching tours within Great Britain but because of the Napoleonic Wars had been unable to travel further afield. In 1802 however,
the Treaty of Amiens temporarily halted hostilities, enabling British tourists to
flock across the Channel. Turner eagerly grasped the opportunity to witness the amazing spectacle of the Swiss Alps.
Gallery label, September 2002
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