Joseph Mallord William Turner

Oxford from the South-West

?1787–8

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite, watercolour and pen and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 364 x 511 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00047
Turner Bequest III B

Display caption

Turner can have been no more than thirteen when he painted this simple prospect of Oxford from North Hinksey. Although the composition devotes over two-thirds of the available space to the sky, there is no sense of this having been sketched from nature. Rather, the way the sky is painted is typical of the often perfunctory blue and wash drawings made by most late eighteenth-century topographers, who were more concerned with the accurate representation of a specific place than with recording the transient effects of nature.

Gallery label, September 2004

Technique and condition

Catalogue entry

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