F. Matthews, Great St Bernard Hospice, Switzerland - 1898 watercolour painting


An original 1898 watercolour painting, F. Matthews Great St Bernard Hospice, Switzerland.

A very attractive watercolour of an interesting view towards Great St Bernard Hospice in the Swiss Alps. Great St Bernard Pass is the most ancient pass through the Western Alps, with evidence of use as far back as the Bronze Age and surviving traces of a Roman road. St Bernard Monastery and Hospice was first recorded at this site in the 9th century.

In watercolour with graphite.

Unsigned. Inscribed lower right.
In good condition for its age. The picture may have minor imperfections, such as slight marks, toning, foxing, creasing or pinholes, commensurate with age. Please see photos for detail.
17.7cm x 24.9cm.

This painting forms part of a collection of watercolours that we have for sale by a late-Victorian British traveller, F. Matthews. The collection comprises views principally in the Italian Lakes, around Como and Maggiore, and in the Swiss canton of Valais, dated 1895 to 1898. Rendered in fresh and luminous tones - pale blues and grass greens, punctuated with vivid touches of pink, purple, yellow and red - they present these popular European destinations through the eyes of a late-Victorian tourist.

Many views feature grand 19th-century hotels, with their elaborate lake-facing facades, terraces and Italianate gardens, or the ornate wooden chalets of Switzerland - thereby giving a real sense of the gentile experience of travel amongst the privileged at this time.

Interestingly, what was once viewed as traditional Swiss architectural style is now believed to be a later creation by foreign architects, who in the 18th and 19th centuries rebuilt many Swiss buildings along the lines of a romanticised conception of Swiss tradition.

The paintings in this collection are evidence of the fascination and affection held for the past during the Victorian era, a time of unprecedented technological advancement.

Text copyright © 2018 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JM-896

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