Flüelen, from the Lake of Lucerne

Flüelen, from the Lake of Lucerne


Joseph Mallord William Turner

(British, 1775-1851)

Watercolor with gouache and scratch-away

Support: Cream(3) wove paper

Sheet: 29.2 x 47.9 cm (11 1/2 x 18 7/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1954.129



Turner’s magnificent Swiss watercolors, painted near the end of the artist’s life, represent the triumphant culmination of the golden age of British watercolor painting. Here, Turner seems to conjure the little town of Flüelen and its shimmering reflection out of violet-colored mist. The swirling vortex of light underscores the grandeur of nature, while the inclusion of figures going about their daily lives within the vastness of the Alps is a reminder of the reality of the scene. The mature Turner is at his most majestic here-at the time he painted this view, he had become the great master of Romantic landscape painting in England.

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