Joseph Mallord William Turner

Christ Church, Oxford, from Merton Fields


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 298 × 384 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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

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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.
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


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