The subject of this horizontal view was identified by Cecilia Powell.1 The prospect to the right is south from the Dreifaltigkeitsberg (Holy Trinity hill) over the Danube Valley to the centre of Regensburg, with the cathedral indicated on the skyline between the right-hand trees. In the left foreground, where Turner has used his customary pictorial lateral compression to an extreme degree, is the south side of the Romanesque porch at the east end of the Dreifaltigkeitskirche, which would have been behind him while he surveyed the distant city. Modern houses now encroach towards the bottom of the foreground slope. Below, as if to reinforce the necessary distortion and develop the scene as a composition, is a thumbnail sketch of the same view.
Turner also made two pencil studies on grey paper from nearby (Tate D34081, D36153; Turner Bequest CCCXLI 360, CCCLXIV 296), developing the first with watercolour to show the sun rising. For numerous contemporary views of Regensburg in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 18 verso (D31311).2