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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Oxford: ?Magdalen Tower with Other Buildings and Trees ?1799

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Oxford: ?Magdalen Tower with Other Buildings and Trees ?1799
Turner Bequest XLVIII 7
Pencil on white wove paper, 196 x 412 mm
Inscribed in pencil ‘xlviii’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XLVIII – 7’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This tentative sketch seems to show some of Oxford’s prominent buildings in silhouette: to the left, the spire of St Mary’s Church and the dome of the Radcliffe Camera, and to the right, perhaps the tower of Magdalen College Chapel. It is possible that the drawing, like several others in this sketchbook, is not in Turner’s hand (see introductory note). A very slight sketch on the verso (D40259) notes two of the same buildings. Turner scholar C.F. Bell identified the viewpoint as the Bank of the Cherwell near the Iffley Road.1
C.F. Bell (died 1966), undated MS note in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.123.
Technical notes:
This is a half-sheet, torn lengthways.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Oxford: ?Magdalen Tower with Other Buildings and Trees ?1799 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, May 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-oxford-magdalen-tower-with-other-buildings-and-trees-r1180262, accessed 19 January 2022.