Joseph Mallord William Turner
Union of the Thames and Isis (‘Dorchester Mead, Oxfordshire’) exhibited 1808

Artwork details

Union of the Thames and Isis (‘Dorchester Mead, Oxfordshire’)
Date Exhibited 1808
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 908 x 1213 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

Turner’s original title for this picture in exhibitions at his Gallery in 1808 and 1809 is commonly used today, although he showed it again in 1810 as ‘Dorchester Mead, Oxfordshire’. It depicts the confluence of the Thames, or ‘Isis’ as it was traditionally called in its passage through Oxford, and the Thame near Dorchester.

The Thame, hardly more than a stream, is in the foreground while the Thames is glimpsed beyond the wooden bridge on the right. Modest and direct, the picture also evokes the seventeenth-century painter Aelbert Cuyp in its lighting and pastoral imagery.

February 2010

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