Alexandre Calame ( 1810 - 1864 )

Morschach, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Morschach, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

oil on canvas laid on cardboard
15 x 10 ¼ in. (38.4 x 26.4 cm.)
c. 1861


Zürich, Galerie Koller, 17 November 1994, lot 3064
Asbjørn Lunde (1927-2017), New York.

Alpine Views: Alexandre Calame and the Swiss Landscape, Williamstown, Clark Art Institute, 2006, no. 14, repr. p. 61;
Den ville natur. Sveitisk og norsk romantikk. Malerier fra Asbjørn Lundes samling, New York, Tromsø, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum and Bergen Billedgalleri, 2007-8, no.16, repr. p. 86;
Forests, Rocks, Torrents: Norwegian and Swiss Landscapes from the Lunde Collection, London, National Gallery, 2011, no. 38, repr. p. 68

Until 2021 this enthralling oil sketch, formerly in the Asbjørn Lunde Collection in New York, was thought to be painted in Seelisberg, but it has now been identified as a view seen from the opposite side of the lake above Morschach. I am grateful to Dr. Geri Reinecke’s help in locating the exact viewpoint. As Reinecke has pointed out from comparable photographs, apart from a road which now runs beside the lake towards the famous Tellskapelle, this scene has changed remarkably little since Calame’s time. Together with Seelisberg and Isenfluh above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, these were hallowed places for the artist and are justifiably some of the most beautiful spots in Switzerland.

Alexandre Calame