View from Veyrier over Lake Geneva towards the Jura mountains, 1777-1779
Oil on canvas. 116,4 x 86,9 cm
Inventory number: B239
Juel’s speciality was portraiture. But he perhaps had the greatest art-historical importance by virtue of the landscape painting in which he specialised alongside the commissions for portraits. Academy pupils from both Denmark (Eckersberg and J.P. Møller), Norway (Dahl) and northern Germany (P. O. Runge and Caspar David Friedrich) found in it a solid foundation on which to develop their respective national schools of landscape painting in the first half of the 19th century. The painting, with the big, solitary tree is the biggest landscape Juel ever made.
In 1772 Juel received a travel grant enabling him to travel through Hamburg, Dresden, Vienna, Rome and Paris, from where he went on to Geneva together with the engraver J. F. Clemens. The two towers in the right background of the painting are those of St Peter’s Cathedral at Geneva.
Clemens was the picture’s first owner, and it has been suggested that he received it as a wedding present from Juel, commemorating their time together in Switzerland. J.P. Møller bought the picture in the auction of Clemens’ estate after his death in 1832, and after his return in 1838 Thorvaldsen acquired the picture for his own collection