Lucerne through Turner's eyes. On Lake Lucerne with the master of English Romanticism.



Joseph Mallord William Turner was fascinated by Switzerland. Searching for subject matter, the master of English Romanticism travelled across Switzerland six times between 1802 and 1844, stopping over in Lucerne on almost every occasion. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Lucerne Art Society, his masterpieces have now been put on display by the Museum of Art Lucerne, in the very city that gave rise to their creation.


One of the highlights of Lucerne is the Culture and Convention Centre designed by star architect Jean Nouvel. This is also where the Museum of Art Lucerne is housed.

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Lucerne – Lake Lucerne Region
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Luzern, Hafen

6 a.m. in Lucerne.

When the first morning boat sets out from the station quay towards Weggis, there are usually not many passengers on board – just a few commuters rubbing the sleep from their eyes. Fanni Fetzer, Director of the Museum of Art Lucerne, is not one of the regular passengers on this route. Today is an exception, and with good reason.

Following in Turner's footsteps.


Fanni Fetzer is curating a major Turner exhibition, which can be seen at the Museum of Art Lucerne in the summer of 2019. Turner – perhaps England's most famous painter – had a special relationship with the city: he travelled through Switzerland six times, and Lucerne was often one of his stops. He would have been fascinated by the morning mood on the boat – back then and today – and by the sight of the Rigi at sunrise.

Since I’ve been planning the exhibition, I’ve started to see Lucerne through Turner’s eyes.
Fanni Fetzer, Director of the Museum of Art Lucerne
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Lucerne by Moonlight

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851).

Turner was in search of the beautiful and the sublime. This search continued in Switzerland, where he studied the unique interplay of light and weather, lake and mountains. And he was equally fascinating by the menacing, dangerous side of nature.

Turner loved to visit the Lucerne region while on his travels in Switzerland.
Fanni Fetzer

Watercolours and sketches.

Turner stands for an entire generation of Brits who discovered Switzerland as a travel destination 200 years ago. He captured his impressions in sketches and vibrant watercolours. His observations and depictions of the sea while crossing to the Continent, as well as those of the Alps, were of major importance for Turner. In them the beauty and dangers of nature become the theme of the sublime, which was of fundamental significance for Romanticism.

200 Years of the Museum of Art Lucerne.


Turner. The Sea and the Alps.

In the summer of 2019, the Museum of Art Lucerne will show a selection of Turner's masterpieces, under the curatorial direction of Fanni Fetzer and co-curator Beat Wismer. The exhibition marks a very special occasion: in 2019, the Lucerne Art Society – the sponsor of the Museum of Art Lucerne – celebrates its 200th anniversary.

Luzern, Fanni Fetzer und Beat Wismer
Never before has such a complete collection of Turner’s Switzerland pictures been on display in a single place.
Fanni Fetzer

Lucerne, the sea and the Alps.

Turner's masterpieces are returning to the place where they originated some 200 years ago. The exhibition "Turner. The Sea and the Alps" showcases 100 works from the Tate Gallery collection in London. The focus is on subjects from the Lucerne and Lake Lucerne region. However, Turner's travels in general are also discussed: his crossing the sea and his representation of the Alpine world.

Museum of Art Lucerne