In Turner’s Footsteps around Lucerne: A survey of sketches, part #4

Here we continue In Turner’s Footsteps around Lucerne, examining drawings in three sketchbooks besides the Between Lucerne and Thun that is our main subject. Here we turn to the second sketchbook in the sequence.

(2) TB CCCXXXI Lake of Zug and Goldau sketchbook, ?1842

A letter-box format paperbound pocket book, containing as endpapers part of an almanac for 1842, and 28 leaves (probably of an original 32) leaves of white wove paper, 6 7/8 x 2 7/8 ins (no WM noted by A.J.Finberg in his Inventory of the Turner Bequest, 1909) mostly drawn on both sides and often with several sketches to a page. An unusual shape, the same as the Lucerne and Berne sketchbook, TB CCCXXVIII, although not necessarily used on the same tour.

Dated by Finberg 1909, to 1841 and by Ian Warrell in Through Switzerland with Turner, 1995, p.66 to 1843, but there is no certain evidence for either. The endpapers contain an Almanac for 1842, which rather suggests that it was made up for use in that year, and some subjects in the sketchbook e.g. Goldau, formed the basis of watercolours that were worked up by Turner during the winter of 1842-43.


5a, as ‘Buildings in Town; Mountains beside Lake; and Group of Peasant Girls’. Image source, Tate

This page contains five sketches, including two of Lucerne in the top two registers. The top sketch records the Rathaus and clock tower. This is continued to the right in the second register, below, to record the tower of St Peter’s Church, the Tour Baghard and the Wasserturm. Turner’s viewpoint appears to be on the quay in front of the Jesuit church. The sketch appears to inform the studio watercolour at the British Museum, Lucerne: Moonlight, discussed fully in a previous article on SublimeSites.co. Other related sketches include ff.28r and 28v (see below) a sketch in the Lucerne and Berne sketchbook,  page 2a, already discussed, and a quick, but large and naturalistic pencil sketch on grey paper, TB CCCXLI 384, to be discussed in due course, and another, quick but controlled, in the Between Lucerne and Thun sketchbook TB CCCXXIX 7r, already discussed. The watercolour is related to a colour study in the Turner Bequest TB CCCLXIV 324, although the details of that are more-or-less invented from memory.


6a as ‘Mountains beside Lake. Hapsburg [Turner] (Habsburg, between Basle and Zürich)’. Image source, Tate

The inscription appears to have prevented the identification of this sketch as Lucerne from the east. Superficially similar material appears in the Between Lucerne and Thun sketchbook  f.9a, and Lucerne and Berne sketchbook inside back cover and also in a sketch on grey paper TB CCCXLI 382; Tate D34105. Those, however, are all taken from the lake off Tribschen on the south shore. The present sketch is taken from the road not far from the north shore.

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It is not immediately clear in the present case why Turner inscribed the sketch ‘Hapsburg’, but he was on the road to Meggen, the site of Neuhabsburg castle. This appears to be the only occasion on which Turner sketched this aspect of Lucerne.


13a as ‘Towers and Other Buildings beside Lake. Also Two Female Peasants’. Image source, Tate

This page contains two sketches of the lakefront at Lucerne: That at the top records the Schwanenplatz from near the Hofkirche. Mont Pilatus can be seen to the to left, with, proceeding right, the Wasserturm, Tour Baghard, Swan Hotel (inscribed ‘S’) and Lederturm (demolished 1848). This is a similar view to that recorded in a sketch in the Between Lucerne and Thun sketchbook, f.2a, previously discussed. Below, more schematically drawn, is a more distant view of the same which brings in the Hofbrucke to the right, together with two female figures. This is continued to right on f,14, opposite. This records similar material to a sketch in the Between Lucerne and Thun sketchbook, f.3a, also previously discussed.


14 as ‘Towers and Other Buildings beside Lake’ . Image source, Tate

This sketch continues that on f.13a, opposite, to the right to include the towers of the Museggmauer and the Hofkirche as seen from the shore, now part of the Nationalquay. This is a similar view to that sketched in the Between Lucerne and Thun sketchbook, f.3a. As we have noticed previously, Turner’s attention at Lucerne could be readily distracted from its scenery to its ladies.

Mountains, Etc. Stanstad, ?Englehart, Kiscow [Turner] circa 1841 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/D33459

Amongst several sketches on this page, one, at the top, is a very quick memorandum of the view from the Reussbrucke, with the Rathaus clock tower centre, Tour Baghard beyond and Wasserturm right. Continued to right on f.28 opposite to include the Jesuit church. Similar material to that sketched in Between Lucerne and Thun sketchbook, f.7. and possibly related to a watercolour of Lucerne: Moonlight, discussed in a previous article on SublimeSites.co.


28 as ‘At Lucerne’. Image source, Tate

This page contains several small sketches of subjects at Lucerne on and around the Reussbrucke:

1) The Wasserturm and Kapellbrucke, Lucerne, from the north end of the Reussbrucke, with the Rigi behind and the Jesuit church to the right with an additional detail of the Jesuit church above left, continuing the sketch on f.27a, opposite, to the right. The same material sketched from the quay, further right, in (3-4) below. The Rigi appears behind the Wasserturm only from the north end of the Reussbrucke.

Turner made several other sketches of this same view – a  quick, but collected and quite large pencil sketch on grey paper, TB CCCXLI 384,  another very scrappy in the Lucerne and Berne sketchbook possibly of 1841 TB CCCXXVIII 2v, and another, quick but controlled, in the Between Lucerne and Thun sketchbook TB CCCXXIX 7r, possibly of 1844. The last is specifically related to a finished watercolour of Lucerne: Moonlight at the British Museum. This in turn is related to a colour study in the Turner Bequest TB CCCLXIV 324, although the latter is more-or-less invented from memory, and the finished watercolour works with the subject in an imaginatively synthetic manner. The watercolour and related sketches are considered in a a previous article on SublimeSites.co.

2) Looking down the Reuss from the Reussbrucke, Lucerne, to the Spreuerbrucke in the mid-distance, the Gutschwald above left and the towers of the Musegg wall descending to the river from the right. With the sun setting directly down the line of the river.

Spreuerbrucke from Reussbrucke. Photograph by Professor David Hill, 25 May 2014, 19.50 CET

3) Looking up the Reuss, from the Reussbrucke, with the Clock Tower, and continued to the right below in

4) to include the Wasserturm and Jesuit church. Similar material to that sketched in (1) above.

5) Looking down the Reuss to the Reussbrucke from the Kapellbrucke, with the Gutschwald in the distance left, and the Jesuit church to the left and the sun setting down the line of the river. Similar material to that sketched in (2) above, but here from a more distant viewpoint.

Reussbrucke and Spreuerbrucke, sunset. Photograph by Professor David Hill, 25 May 2014, 20.14 CET

6) (upside down) Buildings alongside the Reuss, Lucerne, probably the Rathausquai, continuing (5) to the right

7) (down the outside edge of the page) Various figures at a market – from left to right,  a figure with a cart selling ‘Butter’, another two figures with a cart selling ‘Milk’, another cart and then two figures ‘House Maids’ and finally another cart and figure.


28a as ‘Mountains, Towers, Etc’. Image source, Tate

This page contains several sketches; the top two certainly of Lucerne:

1) The Wasserturm from the Bahnhofquai, looking to the twin spires of the Hofkirche. A similar view to that recorded in the Between Lucerne and Berne sketchbook TB CCCXXIX 01r, but from a viewpoint slightly further left to bring the Wasserturm and Hofkirche into direct juxtaposition. Continued to the right immediately below in

2)  to take in the Rigi and the view of the lake.

3) (upside down) A female figure in an interior (?possibly a cooking range)

4) (upside down) Buildings by a lake, possibly the continuation of 5) to the right

5) (upside down) Buildings by a lake, possibly the continuation of 4) to the left.

Summary of viewpoints in Lake of Zug and Goldau sketchbook.

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To be continued

Next: Spires and Heidelberg sketchbook

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