Robert Wylie Lloyd (1868–1958) was a businessman, art collector, entomologist and keen mountaineer, described in his obituary as 'a remarkable and picturesque character who belonged essentially to the Victorian age.'
A chairman of Christie's auction house and vice president of the Alpine Club, his love of the Swiss Alps saw him foster a collection of over 5,000 Swiss prints and books, considered today to be the finest in the world. Along with a magnificent group of watercolours by JMW Turner, he generously bequeathed it to the British Museum in 1958.
Enticing Peaks presented a selection of the finest prints from Lloyd's collection that revealed his admiration for the Alpine landscape and his interest in Swiss customs and mythology.
As well as demonstrating the remarkable skills of 18th and 19th-century Swiss printmakers – who were keen to exploit the market created by burgeoning numbers of tourists – these artworks offered a poignant reminder of how the region has been affected by global warming.
The British Museum would like to thank Dr Danijela Bucher, art historian of the University of Zurich, for sharing her research on RW Lloyd during the compilation of this display. Full details of the RW Lloyd bequest are available on Collection online.