Kapellbrücke, Lucerne by John Ruskin, 1861. Watercolour and bodycolour over graphite on wove paper. Size: 297 x 393 mm. Collection: the Ashmolean, Oxford. Presented by John Ruskin to the Ruskin Drawing School (University of Oxford), 1875; transferred from the Ruskin Drawing School to the Ashmolean Museum, c.1949 (Accession no. WA.RS.ED.116). On loan to the "John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing" exhibition at Two Temple Place, London, 26 January - 22 April 2019.

As for the date,

Although Ruskin dates the drawing to 1862 in his entry in the first Educational Series catalogue, Taylor proposes that it should be connected to diary entries 17 to 19 October 1861: "Paint bit of Lucerne Bridge"; "Painting Bridge. Get on badly"; "Paint Bridge; get on well but stopped by cold" (Ruskin, Diaries, vol. II, p. 554) and to details in an unpublished summary of Ruskin's journeys of 1884 (Ruskin Library, University of Lancaster, L 8). ["The Kapellbrücke at Luzern"]

Left: The painting in its frame. Right: A recent photograph of the covered Chapel Bridge from a different angle.

The picturesque lakeside town of Lucerne was a popular tourist destination, especially for artists. Turner had liked to paint there — and when Queen Victoria visited it in 1868, staying there incognito with three of her children, she was inspired to take up sketching again for the first time since Prince Albert's death.

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee (caption material drawn from the Ashmolean entry for the work). You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer or source, and (2) link your document to this URL or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on all the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material


"The Kapellbrücke at Luzern (Lucerne), John Ruskin." The Ashmolean. Web. 7 February 2019.

Created 7 February 2019