J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Distant View of Oxford 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 24 Recto:
Distant View of Oxford 1839
Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 24
Pencil on white wove drawing paper, 140 x 235 mm
Watermarked ‘J wh[atman| Turk[ey mill] | 18[34]’
Inscribed in red ink ‘24’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXXIX–24’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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.

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Distant View of Oxford 1839 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-distant-view-of-oxford-r1150618, accessed 24 November 2020.