Turner had visited the Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen on his first visit to Switzerland and they became one of his favourite subjects. He returned to them and made several studies, some of which were worked up into larger paintings. For this study he prepared the paper with a wash of grey before applying other colours and then rubbed and scraped into the surface to achieve the effects of spray and moisture laden air. He conveyed the scale of the Falls by including the figures in the boats. Made in 1841, this is one of three studies of the subject in the Scottish National Gallery's collection.