Turner is unlikely to have coloured these views of Dinant on the spot. Yet, as other examples in this display also demonstrate, he often made a number of colour studies of a site from much the same viewpoint, transforming the basic scene by varying the type of light falling over it. On this occasion his studies seem to have been undertaken to explore the way sunset light transforms how the eye perceives the colours of shadows. The use of the deep mauve unifies the silhouetted form of the rock and fortress above Dinant. A fuller investigation of this phenomenon was undertaken by the somewhat later in the century.
Gallery label, August 2004