This sketchbook and another used on the Mosel in 1824 were the first ones with soft covers Turner took on a foreign tour. In these he made his more ambitious sketches in the towns where he stopped, sometimes finishing his work in colour. In both sketchbooks he prepared the pages with a grey wash so that his coloured show a strong continuity, in technique as well as vision, with his depictions of the Rhine in 1817. In this distant view of Trier from across the Mosel Turner contrasts the vivid energy of nature - clouds and cliffs, trees and bushes - with the stability of Germany's oldest city, lying placidly at the centre.
Gallery label, September 2004