Dazzling sunlight fills this view of Heidelberg on the River Rhine. The architecture of the hill top town is veiled in a shimmering golden mist reflected in the river. Groups of figures animate the foreground, which is punctuated with touches of deep red, white and blue. The work appears to be almost a glorious essay in the use of colour, rather than an exercise in topography. It is one of several large views of Heidelberg connected with drawings Turner made on tours to the Rhineland in the 1840s. This is considered to be among his finest late works on paper from about 1846.