Joseph Mallord William Turner

Christ Church, Oxford, from Merton Fields

c.1790

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

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 298 x 384 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00115
Turner Bequest VIII A

Display caption

Oxford was among the first cities outside London that Turner visited, and always retained a special place in his affections. The great clock tower of Christ Church College is seen from outside Pembroke College, from what is now Pembroke Square. As so often in his Oxford views, the lively foreground figures include types drawn from both 'town' and 'gown'.

Gallery label, May 1993

Catalogue entry

Technically this drawing has features in common with the coloured work of the Oxford sketchbook, notably the view of Lacy’s Court, Abingdon (Tate D00014; Turner Bequest II 4); but the intensity of the palette and the confidence with which the figures are introduced suggest that it dates from a little later.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil, in a later hand ‘No 18’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore