Joseph Mallord William Turner

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 21 a

Catalogue entry

Rendered in crisp line, this panoramic view of Oxford was taken from the opposite side of the city to Headington Hill (see Tate D28304, D28324, D28325; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 7a, 17a, 18) from the village of North Hinksey. The prospect continues onto the folio opposite (Tate D28334; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 22a). On this sheet the profiles of Magdalen College tower, Christ Church Cathedral and College and St Aldate’s Church can be seen.
The drawing essentially represents the same prospect as is 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 D28332, D28336–D283341; Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 21a, 23a–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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