Sherlock Holmes’ final destination on view at The Higgins

JMW Turner's The Great Falls of the Reichenbach
JMW Turner's The Great Falls of the Reichenbach
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Sherlock Holmes fans watching the latest BBC instalment may have spotted a rather famous painting with their powers of observation.

The special episode took Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous detective back to his Victorian roots, with a focus on the location of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional show-down between Sherlock and his arch- nemesis Professor James Moriarty.

Turner's Reichenbach Falls, also immortalised in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes PNL-160601-120440001

Turner's Reichenbach Falls, also immortalised in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes PNL-160601-120440001

In Sherlock’s dream-sequence, he saw the Turner painting The Great Falls of the Reichenbach. It is a masterful a portrayal of the Swiss mountains where Conan Doyle sent the pair to meet their destiny, and are forever more presumed dead, in the short story, The Final Problem, in 1893.

The real painting is on display at The Higgins, in Bedford, until April 10, as part of the free exhibition J.M.W. Turner & The Art of Watercolour.

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.

In the current BBC series, the painting has come to represent Sherlock’s ongoing battle with Moriarty.

The Christmas episode, watched by about 13 million viewers, was the second time it has appeared in the show. It previously featured at the end of series two, when Sherlock appeared to die in a fall from a building.

The Higgins is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm, and Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 2pm to 5pm