Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fluelen: Morning (Looking Towards the Lake of Lucerne): Sample Study


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 244 × 305 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 282

Display caption

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

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