After J.M.W. Turner, Chapel of William Tell, Switzerland - 1830s watercolour
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An original 1830s watercolour painting, After J.M.W. Turner The Chapel of William Tell, for Rogers's 'Italy'.
This spirited Continental view is deftly painted in watercolour after a work by Joseph Mallord William Turner. It shares the wonderful Romantic sensibility of Turner’s work, evoking the idea and feeling of the place depicted. Tell's Chapel marks the spot on the bank of the Lake Lucerne where Swiss hero William Tell escaped the boat of his captor, the brutal ruler Albrecht Gessler. From there Tell ambushed and killed Gessler with an arrow, launching the young Confederacy's rebellion against Austrian rule.
Turner’s original was produced as an illustration for Samuel Rogers's long poem 'Italy', published in 1830, and it is likely that the present painting was executed in the same decade, when the book proved a great popular success. A maker’s stamp on the covers within which this painting and others in the series were inserted (C.E. Clifford, artist’s colourman, 30 Piccadilly, London - see photograph) dates from 1848 onwards - the paintings presumably compiled and inserted sometime after their completion.
On watercolour paper, laid down on backing card.
The odd, barely visible spot of foxing as shown. There is further foxing to the verso of the backing card, which does not affect the front.
15.6cm x 21cm.
This painting forms part of a beautiful series of watercolours that we have for sale by a competent unknown hand after Turner’s illustrations for Rogers’s ‘Italy’. 'Italy' was Samuel Roger's longest poem, inspired by his tour of the Continent in 1814. It was published in a sumptuous luxury edition in 1830, with illustrations by Turner, Thomas Stothard and Samuel Prout - and it was these illustrations which secured the book’s immense success, the vignettes providing a breathtaking visual backdrop to complement Rogers’s text. Turner illustrated the work of many poets - including Byron, Milton and Scott - but it was these vignettes for ‘Italy’ that are considered his finest works of literary illustration. These watercolours after Turner show the popular contemporary reception of Turner’s illustrations and their Romantic appreciation of classical ruin, sublime landscape and local contadino.
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Product code: JK-657