It is possible that the colour studies from this group of works represent a rare example of Turner colouring in the open air. Unlike his views of the Meuse and Mosel on blue paper, which were painted later from pencil sketches, this group of studies on dark blue paper were made in the course of the tour. Turner may have sat in a small boat in mid-river, so that he could sketch at ease, without any interruptions from onlookers.
Gallery label, September 2004
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