Leader made his first trip to the continent in 1871, accompanying his friend Sir Robert Collier, the Attorney-General and gentleman painter, to Switzerland. The month-long trip produced his first Alpine landscape The Wellhorn from Rosenlaui, a large canvas which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1873. He later recalled the difficulties he had with this new subject matter: 'Covered canvas of Swiss picture ... found it about the most difficult subject ever tackled and don't know whether I shall make it a success or failure.' (Diaries, 11 February). 'In spite of Leader's misgivings about this painting, it was submitted along with three others ... and all four were hung. The Art Journal thought the Swiss painting was "perhaps the best contribution from this artist ..." Leader also sold three other Swiss landscapes that year.' (R. Wood, Benjamin Williams Leader, R.A. 1831-1923, His Life and Paintings, Woodbridge, 1998, pp.46-7). Leader married Mary Eastlake on 29 August 1876 and their three-month honeymoon took in Switzerland where he sketched in and around Interlaken. He exhibited two Swiss landscapes at the Royal Academy in 1877 and one in 1878 (Autumn in Switzerland: On the road from Meyringen to Rosenlaui), all presumably, as well as the present picture, from sketches taken on his honeymoon in the autumn of 1876.
We are grateful to Ruth Wood for her help in preparing this catalogue entry. Mrs Wood is working on a catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Benjamin Williams Leader.