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This picture of a river scene at harvest-time attracted little critical attention when it was exhibited in 1809. However, it was much admired by JS Cotman and David Cox, both of whom made swift pencil drawings of the painting while in the gallery.


The painting was derived from a sketch
in which Turner experimented with the composition. Turner made no claims for
it being a study from nature, but when
it was exhibited in his gallery in 1835
it was praised for its 'true' effect. 'It does not need the man stooping to wash his face, to convey an idea of the sultry heat
of a summer morn,' wrote the critic
at the Spectator


September 2004