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Turner passed through Rheinfelden on his way back along the Rhine towards Basle; see also folio 39 of this sketchbook (D04782). What is presumably his cabriolet appears drawn up on the right. This seems to be a view of the covered bridge over the Rhine, seen from the north, if the upper part of the end wall of the bridge, above the arched entrance, has suffered some damage; Turner’s views from his later visits, for example Rheinfelden, the Covered Bridge, from the North, 1844 (Tate D35143; Turner Bequest CCCXLIX 19), and a daguerreotype taken for John Ruskin by Frederick Crawley, 1858 (Ruskin Galleries, Bembridge School, Isle of Wight),1 may show it after repairs. Turner’s inscription is puzzling. Conceivably it refers to the Messerturm, one of the towers in Rheinfelden’s town walls, but situated above the river some distance away it would not have been visible from his position here, on the approach to the bridge.
Ian Warrell, Through Switzerland with Turner: Ruskin’s First Selection from the Turner Bequest, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1995, p.20 reproduced fig.10.