Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Oxford


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 140 × 235 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 24

Catalogue entry

From a viewpoint in the village of North Hinksey, which lies west of Oxford, Turner has sketched a rough panorama of the city in the distance framed by cottages and tall trees. The dome of the Radcliffe Camera can be seen, with the spires of surrounding Colleges suggested in a few vertical strokes of the pencil. The drawing is taken from a similar location to that depicted in the highly finished watercolour Oxford, from North Hinksey of 1834–40 (Manchester City Galleries) and in a more abstract rendering of the view produced between 1837 and 1840 (Tate D25220; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 98).1 Turner scholar Eric Shanes proposes that the latter of these colour drawings was derived from the following pencil studies of Oxford in the First Mossel and Oxford sketchbook: Tate D28331–D28334, D28336, D28338–D283341; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 21–22a, 23a, 24a–26.2

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.404 no.889.
Shanes 1997, p.87 no.80.

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