On the banks of Switzerland's Lake Geneva, the Chateau de Chillon looms over the water with its towers, a mighty fortress arising as if from the depths themselves. The glacial lake is its border and its moat: the castle, dating from the 12th century, is built on a rocky outcropping. Lord Byron immortalized the chateau in his poem “The Prisoner of Chillon,” paying tribute to the medieval edifice where he, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Claire Claremont (Mary's stepsister) cavorted during the summer of 1816. Almost 60 years later, Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) executed Castle of Chillon, Evening (cover); in Castle of Chillon, the realist painter created a visual counterpart to Lord Byron's words—a paean to the placid lakeshore and its delights.
Torpy JM. Castle of Chillon, Evening. JAMA. 2012;308(13):1300. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3239
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