Joseph Mallord William Turner

Oxford; Details of All Souls and University Colleges; and Inscriptions by Turner


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 88 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXI 44 a

Catalogue entry

At the top of the leaf is a slight continuation of the sketch of the High Street front of All Souls College on folio 45 of the sketchbook (D07662). Drawn with the page turned to upright format are two statues, the left one being probably that of Queen Anne in the niche over the gate of University College. Above are extensive notes: ‘... 3 | arm in the E R 3 2 Bays | University 4 square 3 Round edges | 3 last windows sashed with w casements 2 under ground | Lamp between the 3 Windows from Gate | Lamp front P from 2 ...| the Con...’
See notes to folio 43 verso (D07659) for Oxford views in this sketchbook and their relationship to Turner’s picture View of the High-Street, Oxford painted for James Wyatt (Loyd Collection; on loan to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).1 In the picture, University College is on the left and All Souls on the right of the High as it curves up towards Carfax. This annotated sketch and another of All Souls on folio 45 seem relevant to, if not actually mentioned in, Turner’s letter to Wyatt of 4 February 1810 requesting more detail on windows facing the street:
I could wish you to send me back the annexed sketch with information how the several windows are glazed, and those blank in the front of the All Souls entrance, particularly those in the large Gable part, if they project in a bow, like the two by the gateway, as I find two marked in my second sketch more than in my first, and therefore suppose some alteration has taken place since the first was made.2

David Blayney Brown
May 2011

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.73–4 no.102 (pl.109).
Turner to James Wyatt, 4 February 1810, in John Gage ed., Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner with an Early Diary and a Memoir by George Jones, Oxford 1980, p.39.

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