Alexandre Calame was the leading painter of Swiss landscapes in the nineteenth century.
He enjoyed his first international success at the Paris Salon exhibition of 1839, but his style
matured in the 1850s, when he began producing drawings and painted studies while hiking around
Lake Lucerne. Calame's finished works often use elements from these studies, combined in a
variety of different compositions. His paintings explore his belief in a divine presence in
the rugged open spaces of his native country. But they are also celebrations of the archetypal
Swiss landscape, painted with an eye toward the burgeoning tourist market. During his lifetime,
distinguished patrons such as the king of France and members of the Russian imperial family
collected his finished studio paintings. Today, his studies from nature are also popular;
these freshly painted sketches demonstrate his skill as a painter of the natural world.
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