Skip to main content
The Lake of Thun
Alexandre Calame
/

This is a view of Lake Thun on the River Aare in the Berner Oberland (Bernese Highlands), Switzerland. The sunlit snowy peak in the distance has been identified as the Blümlisalp, but it also has some resemblance to the Jungfrau.

Raised near Lake Geneva, Calame knew the Swiss landscape well and soon became the leading Swiss landscape artist of his generation. Demand for his paintings was fuelled by the growing popularity of Switzerland, particularly the Alps, as a destination for tourists who especially valued the landscape’s restorative effects. This painting was commissioned by the British collector Henry Vaughan, who also owned important watercolours by Turner.

Completed in 1854, the painting shows a tranquil lake. The slight browning of some of the foliage suggests it may be late summer or early autumn. Calame painted the natural world with an almost scientific precision. He mostly used small precise brushstrokes to produce an extremely smooth picture surface that complements the calm water of the lake and the clarity of the pearly light.

Key facts
Artist Alexandre Calame
Artist dates 1810 - 1864
Full title The Lake of Thun
Date made 1854
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 59.1 x 78.1 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Henry Vaughan Bequest, 1900
Inventory number NG1786
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo