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According to WB Cooke, the Views in Sussex series aimed to display 'with Truth and
Effect the grand character of this picturesque part of the Coast'. Despite this claim for faithfulness to detail, Turner's The Vale
of Heathfield is one view where the artist
has altered the actual geography of the landscape to achieve a more pleasing aesthetic composition. Comparison of the vista with Turner's initial 'on the spot' pencil sketch on display nearby, reveals that he has exaggerated both the hill and tower on the right and the path leading away into the left side of the picture.