View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
At first sight these two drawings appear simply to be coloured studies of familiar views on the Rhine, executed on sheets of paper of nearly identical size and in a limited colour range reminiscent of that used in nos.4-11. They are, however, imaginative works rather than strictly topographical ones. No.23 is similar to the historical scene shown in no.24, while no.22 depicts, with a large degree of artistic licence, the bridge of boats at Cologne which Turner did not see until 1824. The drawings may perhaps relate to an unfulfilled commission of which nothing is yet known.
Gallery label, August 2004