Joseph Mallord William Turner

Oxford: Christ Church from the River


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 262 × 415 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXI G

Display caption

Just after the turn of the century Turner made finished watercolours of the city and colleges of Oxford, for engraving as illustrations for the annual University Calendar or 'Almanack'. They represent the climax of his first phase as an architectural draughtsman. This view of Christ Church and Tom Tower across the meadows at dusk is more atmospheric than these commissioned designs. Its breadth of handling and composition relate to the work of Turner's early friend Thomas Girtin.

Gallery label, August 2004

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