When Ruskin eventually visited Rheinfelden for himself in 1858, he was quick to notice how Turner had improved on reality. He remarked in a letter to his father that these sketches were 'all very like except only that the town, which Turner has made about the size of Strasburg, consists of one street and a few lanes, and what he has drawn as mountains are only the wooded Jura, but pretty in shape'. Ruskin used nos.87 and 89 as illustrations for his discussion of Turnerian topography in the fifth volume of 'Modern Painters', and considered the latter study 'Exquisitely beautiful'. On the other hand, he viewed no.90 as 'a thoroughly bad sketch (for Turner); every way slovenly and substanceless'.
Gallery label, February 1995