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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Oxford and Related Subjects c.1787–91

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Turner’s earliest dated drawing is the 1787 view of Nuneham Courtenay (Tate D00002; Turner Bequest I B). Other works can be grouped round this, on the evidence of style. Some of the works in this group are copies from prints, forming the normal mode of self-tuition for any young artist of the time. The later drawings here display a steadily strengthening grasp of technique and colouring, serving the clearly identified goals of Turner’s aim of becoming a topographical watercolourist. The Oxford sketchbook was probably in use during a stay with Turner’s uncle, Joseph Mallord William Marshall, at Sunningwell, south of Oxford, in 1789, though some subjects indicate that it was also used nearer to London, and in London itself. The drawings and sketchbook are discussed at greater length in the introductions to the respective subsections.
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Oxford sketchbook c.1789
D00010–D00045, D40737–D40742
Turner Bequest II 1–26a
D00001–D00003, D00005, D00046–D00053, D00115, D00187, D00191, D00195, D00716, D40210–D40212, D40266
Turner Bequest I A, B, C, E, III A, B, C, D, Ea–d, IV A, B, C, VIII A, XVII L, P, T, XXIX K
Turner’s earliest dated drawing is the 1787 view of Nuneham Courtenay (Tate D00002; Turner Bequest I B). Other works can be grouped round this, on the evidence of style. Some of the works in this group are copies from prints, forming the normal mode of self-tuition for any young artist of the time. The later drawings here display a steadily strengthening grasp of technique and colouring, serving the clearly identified goals of Turner’s aim of becoming a topographical watercolourist.
The Oxford sketchbook was probably in use during a stay with Turner’s uncle, Joseph Mallord William Marshall, at Sunningwell, south of Oxford, in 1789, though some subjects indicate that it was also used nearer to London, and in London itself.
The drawings and sketchbook are discussed at greater length in the introductions to the respective subsections.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Oxford and Related Subjects c.1787–91’, April 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/oxford-and-related-subjects-r1140113, accessed 17 October 2018.