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On his way to Switzerland in 1844 Turner explored the River Neckar as far as Heilbronn. Much of this was new territory, although he was already familiar with Heidelberg from earlier visits. In many of these colour sketches, he refined or accentuated details with the aid of his pen, which he dipped in the watercolours on his palette, rather than using ink. Ruskin drew his reader's attention to the way in which Turner had drawn the rocks on the hillside on the right: 'the pencil, and the paler violet touches, with the full and deep red penned work, being there combined with consummate skill'.

September 2004