Edward Lear left London on 1 August 1854 to travel through Switzerland with Bernard Husey Hunt. Despite the cold weather, which did not suit him, Lear was fascinated by the landscape he found there. His letters are full of descriptions of glaciers, which he had never seen before, likening them to 'a ladies' goffrée frill or ruffle' or to 'madrepore corals - only 15 to 40 miles long & look as if made of wedding cake'. In a letter to his sister Ann he wrote that he was 'greatly delighted with what [he had] seen of Switzerland, though I do not think I can ever paint it; to represent it well, it requires more hard labour than the landscape of any country I am acquainted with, - because, though there are no great distances, yet all around one is as it were on perpendicular & in & out surfaces - filled up with innumerable details' (V. Noakes, Edward Lear selected letters, Oxford, 1988, p. 128).
It seems likely that Lear visited Oeschinensee, on the return leg of his circular tour from Interlaken to Zermatt via Monte Rosa after he had parted from his travelling companion.