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ID number:  BIRBI-39.16
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775-1851)
Title / Object name:  The Lake of Thun
Object type:  Print
Place made:  London
Culture:  British
Date made:  1808
Materials:  Etching and mezzotint
Measurements:  183 x 292 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Messrs. John Grant Ltd., 1939, for 18s 6d

Etched by JMW Turner and engraved by Charles Turner (no relation), this print was the third plate of the artist's Liber Studiorum, a series of landscape prints intended to advertise his range. The production of which caused a disagreement between Turner and his original engraver. It shows an electric storm over Lake Thun in central Switzerland, which he witnessed while on tour in 1802. The medium of etching brilliantly conveys the drama of the moment, allowing a sharp contrast between the dazzling lightening, the stormy darkness oif the mountains and the overcast waters. On the lakeside, the men are feverishly loading their cart to return to the safety of home, whilst the man holding a gun adds a sinister note to their activities. In contrast to the tone of 'Ludlow Castle' (Inv. No. 42.8) the threatening atmosphere introduces an element of hostility in the relationship between man and nature, emphasised by the boat rocking upon the choppy waters. The print is probably a response to public interest in the Sublime, both in literature and art.

Inscriptions / Translations:  u.c.: "M"; l.c.: "Lake of Thun Swiss.", "Drawn & Etchd by J.M.W. Turner Esqr. R.A.P.P.", "Engraved by C. Turner.", and "London Published June 10. 1808 by C. Turner No. 50 Warren Street Fitzroy Square.".

Notes:  Etching, with mezzotint by C.Turner (1774-1857)

1 Related People

Turner, Joseph Mallord William
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