Turner here adopts the viewpoint of the 1780 Oxford Almanack design by Michael Angelo Rooker (1746–1801) that he had copied in 1787 (Tate D00001; Turner Bequest I A). As Harrison points out, the building known as ‘Friar Bacon’s Study’ conspicuous in that subject had since been demolished and does not feature here. A finished watercolour, based on this drawing and dated verso ‘1800’, is in the collection of (Aberystwyth University).1 Both signature and date on that drawing seem to be incorrect, and the sheet more probably belongs to 1797–8. It is possibly a copy drawing made for use by a pupil; see the section of the present catalogue concerning such drawings made between about 1794 and 1798.
For the dating of this drawing and contemporary views in the Oxford area, see under Tate D02358 (Turner Bequest L Q).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.314 no.132. reproduced.
This is one of a sequence of sixteen Yorkshire and other subjects included in the present subsection which were executed on uniform sheets of paper, as discussed and listed in the Introduction. Although executed in a markedly freer manner and with a softer pencil point than the other drawings, the drawing is evidently one of the sequence.
Blank; not stamped.