William Turner was an Oxford-based artist who painted in watercolour and oils. He produced landscapes that reflected the full variety of contemporary taste. This is a rather belated exercise in the ‘Picturesque’, the aesthetic ideal that dominated landscape painting in the late eighteenth century.
The Picturesque stressed the appeal of variety, decay and historical associations. Old farm buildings, rugged taverns and ruins often featured in such landscapes. These motifs were clichés by William Turner’s time, but the idyllic view of the countryside embodied in Picturesque landscapes proved enduring. It is familiar even today.