Sunset at the Lake Lucerne
  • Albert Goodwin
  • Maidstone 1845 - 1936 London
  • Sunset at the Lake Lucerne, after 1900
  • Gouache, on strong paper, framing lines by the artist with pen and black ink and wash
  • signed in black ink on the lower right: Albert Goodwin, inscribed on the lower left: Lake Lucerne
  • 157 × 218 mm
Estate of the Artist, London
Part of an album of Goodwin’s grandnephew (until 2014)

In addition to all his artistic talent, Albert Goodwin had the good luck to be accepted as a student of John Ruskin (1819-1900), the famous painter of Victorian landscapes. He was even allowed to accompany the latter in 1872 on his first prolonged study trip through Switzerland to Italy. The new experiences from this trip served as the initial spark for Goodwin’s many later journeys around the world, which he undertook even into his old age. The landscapes of these various countries, in all their diverse facets, became his central motif. Switzerland remained one of his favourite travel destinations, however, as numerous watercolours and gouaches attest.

The present sheet originated shortly after the turn of the century, and is a good example of the devout admiration of nature that the artist felt throughout his life. As in the work of his great role model J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851), he reinforced the striking atmosphere of the mountains in the red light of the setting sun through his use of sfumato. The lake in the foreground, largely shadowed already, reflects the last light in the sky and distances itself – seemingly boundless – from the unfathomable power of the rock formations.