Ruskin: 'the glorious Oberwesel and Nemi'
Cecilia Powell refers to 'a dazzling vision of the Rhine.. not only the culmination of Turner's many visits to this part of Europe but also one of the most outstanding of his late watercolours.' Particularly noticeable is the extent to which Turner has chosen to scratch the surface to achieve highlights. This, combined with a multitude of small brushstrokes, helps create an all embracing light with tremendous detail, 'vast pools of sparkling light.'
Turner has expanded certain features of Oberwesel, Schönburg Castle has been taken from the centre of the town further along the west bank for compositional reasons, while the Ochsturm Tower has been moved down river about a kilometre, again for balancing the overall composition.
Oberwesel was engraved by J.T.Willmore for Finden's Royal Gallery of British Art in 1842 and dedicated to Windus.
Sotheby's sale 2007
In 1847 Thomas Tudor, himself a collector of Turner watercolours, made four visits to see Windus's collection at Tottenham. He described this view of Lake Nemi as "the first work in the collection & no description of it can convey its merits".
According to Kim Sloan at the British Museum - Lake Nemi, "the mirror of Diana", like the neighbouring volcanic crater of Lake Albano, had been a site of pilgrimage for every visitor to Rome, patron or artist, since the seventeenth century".
When sold from the Fowler collection in 1899 Lake Nemi realised the highest price ever paid for a Turner watercolour.
Lake Nemi was engraved by R Wallis for Finden's 'Royal Gallery of British Art' in1842
Lloyd Bequest British Museum
Heidelberg with a Rainbow
Commissioned by Thomas Prior, the engraver, in 1840, Heidelberg with a Rainbow is one of the greatest watercolors ever executed by Turner, and stands out as one of the crowning achievements of the artist’s mature style. Heidelberg with a Rainbow combines Turner’s unique use of sweeping passages of hazy color and light with his acute draftsmanship, and rendering of figures and architecture.
Turner’s impressive view of Heidelberg quickly became known through the wide circulation of prints of the picture. It was engraved by R Wallis for Finden's 'Royal Gallery of British Art' in 1842.
Sotheby's sale 2013