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The joy of the images for The Rivers of England project lies in the beautiful detail which is not entirely suited to translation from delicate watercolour to the darker, smokier medium of mezzotint. This view of Rochester includes such interesting details as the line of washing hung out to dry in the river breeze between the masts of the large ship. Somewhat unusually Turner did not sell these watercolours, preferring to loan them for a fee to the engravers. Consequently they remained in his studio and now can be viewed at Tate Britain as part of the Turner Bequest.

August 2004