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The rising sun catches the spray thrown up by the Rhine as it falls dramatically near Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Turner recreates this effect by scratching through the gray watercolor wash he had laid onto his paper. Then, with a few pen strokes, he defines the crag and Laufen Castle on the right and a leaping salmon in the front.
Nine such sketches were made at the Falls in September 1841 from various vantage points throughout the day and night. Turner considered such site work as preliminary to “finished” watercolors he would make at home.