Joseph Mallord William Turner

Blenheim Palace and Park


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Watercolour on paper
Support: 459 x 591 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 366

Catalogue entry

As Finberg suggested, this seems to be ‘another’ colour study of Blenheim Palace, near Oxford, and its extensive park, with reference to the alternative view (Tate D25488; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 365) which directly informed the finished watercolour Blenheim House and Park, Oxford of about 1832 (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery),1 engraved in 1833 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04599, T04600, T06101). The view is to the south-east, across the lake, and relates to two double-page pencil drawings in the 1830 Kenilworth sketchbook (Tate D21981–D21984; Tate CCXXXVIII 4a–5, 5a–6).2 Eric Shanes has described the present view as ‘idealised’, while D25488 would provide the ‘dramatic components and pictorial architecture’ of a figure scene exploring contemporary ‘class differences and social stress’.3
See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
There are unrelated watercolour studies on the verso (D40489).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.399 no.846, pl.194.
As noted in Shanes 1997, p.53.
Shanes 1997, p.19; see also p.53.
Technical notes:
Eric Shanes notes the localised application of stopping-out varnish ‘on the far side of the lake to the left’.1

Matthew Imms
March 2013

Shanes 1997, p.53.

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