Following his wife's return to her parents in Scotland in 1854, presaging the annulment of his marriage, Ruskin again visited Switzerland with his parents. They spent three months visiting Geneva, Interlachen, Thun, Lucerne, Chamonix, Lausanne, and Fribourg.
Ruskin rekindled his interest in the Alps following his concentration on the major architectural works of the 1840s. During his travels he began work on a literary project of the history of six Swiss towns that he planned to illustrate. The present highly finished watercolour is possibly a study in preparation for this. Ruskin returned again in 1856, visiting Berne and Vevay, and making a study of Swiss towns including Fribourg which had an historical intent as well as a topographical one. He also visited Geneva and Chamonix.