Millions see town link with Sherlock

Published on 06 January 2016

Until April 10th Sherlock fans can enjoy free entry at The Higgins Bedford to see the original painting of the 'Reichenbach Falls’ as featured in the TV series.

All nine of Bedford’s watercolours by J.M.W. Turner are now being displayed together. The exhibition spans Turner’s career, showing the development of his unique, unparalleled work, from Cote House near Bristol, painted when Turner was aged just 16 and already a skilled draughtsman and watercolourist, to The Town and Lake of Thun, painted during the final phase of his career, when he produced some of his most innovative works.

One of the highlights of Bedford’s Turner collection is The Great Falls of the Reichenbach, painted in 1804. At over a metre tall it is a spectacular exhibition watercolour and a technical tour de force; Turner had by this point in his career broken free of traditional methods. Working on a large scale allowed him to depict the soaring perspectives he had witnessed on his tour of Switzerland in 1802.

The Reichenbach Falls are the scene of the ‘final showdown’ between Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Moriarty. The painting has developed added significance in recent years, appearing in the BBC series Sherlock including the New Year’s Day special episode viewed by millions.

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