Lake Constance ; The Oberstadt at Bregenz with Lake Constance (the Bodensee) Beyond, from the Gebhardsberg
c 1850. Watercolor on cream wove paper mounted on thin card stock, 10 x 12 1/2 inches (255 x 320 mm), wide margins. Adhesive residue around the perimeter of the sheet, recto, from a former mount, outside of image area. Minor uniform age tone throughout sheet. A beautiful, well-lit watercolor.
In 1842 J.M.W. Turner embarked on a quest to generate commissions for large scale watercolor paintings based on a series of 10 "sample study" watercolors he had done after a group of sketches he made while traveling through Switzerland. All but two of the landscapes are of Swiss scenes, Lake Constance, is one of the exceptions. When the landscape study failed to entice any of his collectors to commission a finished work, Turner fleshed out the painting and presented it to his agent, Thomas Griffith. Griffith was eventually successful in wooing the well known art critic, instructor, and polymath John Ruskin to purchase the finished work for his private collection. Ruskin presented the painting to his students, who enjoyed the opportunity to learn Turner's technique through its study. This is likely one of the watercolors executed by a student of Ruskin.
Inscribed in pencil on the verso of this painting are various notations of interest, including the names "Mr. Thomas Griffith and Mr. Clarke," Turner's agents, and the London address 7 Holly Place, Hampstead.
Item number: 466