Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Landscape with Oxen Drawing a Plough, Perhaps near Hanwell or Egham


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 87 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXIV 70

Catalogue entry

This sketchy and somewhat convoluted drawing appears to show a hillside beyond foreground vegetation, possibly with a figure seated below a bank in the right foreground. Above Turner’s ‘oxen’ inscription there may be the outlines of at least two of the animals, while there seem to be further figures towards the centre left and on the skyline beyond, below what is probably the sun, with rays emanating from it.
As set out in the Introduction, there are various landscape studies in this sketchbook, occupying several pages from folios 28 recto to 38 recto (D07999–D08010), and from the verso of the present page 70 recto to 73 recto (D08051–D08056). The last of the earlier sketches show the River Brent, north-west of London, which merges with the Grand Union Canal at Hanwell, traditionally the main subject of the second grouping. The present subject may have been recorded in the neighbourhood; it is just possible that Turner’s word apparently beginning with ‘E’ indicates Egham, a few miles to the west.
Blank, save for inscription by John Ruskin in red ink ‘1000’ bottom left, and stamp in black ‘CXIV – 70’ top left, the latter upside down relative to the recto.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

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