Turner passed Mayen while travelling by road between the Rhine and the Mosel. His study is dominated by the vast black hulk of the Genovevaburg, a fortified castle built between 1280 and 1311. In the foreground it shows the medieval town walls, with the Brückentor at lower right, above which can be seen St Clement's church with its twisted spire. Late nineteenth-century show Mayen very much as Turner did, but the visitor there today finds it sadly altered: most of the town was destroyed in the Second World War and it has subsequently been reconstructed and expanded almost beyond recognition.
Gallery label, August 2004