Joseph Mallord William Turner Folly Bridge and Bacon’s Tower, Oxford 1787

Artwork details

Folly Bridge and Bacon’s Tower, Oxford
Date 1787
Medium Pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 325 x 445 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest I A
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Catalogue entry

Copied from the engraving by Edward Rooker after Michael Angelo Rooker (1743/6–1801) of the ‘North West View of Friar Bacon’s Study’, Oxford Almanack, 1780 (a wash drawing of the subject is in the Ashmolean Museum, attributed to Rooker.1 Another watercolour copy of the print, not catalogued by Finberg, has been with the Turner Bequest for some years (Turner Bequest Add I A). It is inscribed verso, beneath a backing sheet ‘Friar Bacon’s Study at Oxford by Maria Clarke’. The octagonal tower gatehouse at the southern end of the bridge, associated by tradition with the thirteenth-century philosopher Roger Bacon, was demolished in 1779. Drawings of Folly Bridge dating from about 1797 are Tate D01879 and D02360 (Turner Bequest XLIV C and L S).
David Blayney Brown, The Earlier British Drawings: British Artists and Foreigners Working in Britain Born before C.1775, Ashmolean Museum Oxford: Catalogue of the Drawings, vol.IV, Oxford 1982, p.549 no.1569; see Helen Mary Peter, The Oxford Almanack, Oxford 1974, p.75.
Blank; inscribed in a modern hand ‘Turner Unmounted Vol. 92’; in another hand ‘No. 14’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram, and with Inventory number.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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