In 1781 between August and September, John 'Warwick' Smith accompanied Francis Towne, O.W.S. (1739-1816) on his return journey from Italy through Switzerland. Smith had met the Earl of Warwick and was sent to Italy by him in 1776. He enjoyed a remarkably high reputation as a watercolourist in his own day and Martin Hardie writes of him: 'it may with truth be said that with this artist the first epoch of painting in water colour originated' (M. Hardie, Water-Colour Painting in Britain, 1966, vol. I, p. 116). Thun was a popular subject for artists who visited Switzerland. John Robert Cozens (1752-1797) painted a view of the lake near the village of Spiez in 1776 (British Museum 1900-4-11-10). For further information on the artist see B. Long, 'John (Warwick) Smith' Walker's Quarterly, London, 1927, no. 4.