William Turner of Oxford (British, 17891862)
Watercolor over graphite on paper; 8 1/2 x 15 1/8 in. (21.6 x 38.4 cm)
Purchase, Guy Wildenstein Gift, 2000 (2000.242)
William Turner, called "Turner of Oxford" after the town in which he worked, and in order to distinguish him from his better-known contemporary, J. M. W. Turner (17751851), developed a distinctive watercolor style. Here, as is characteristic of his work, Turner employs flat passages of brightly colored, fluid washes to achieve an exquisitely balanced composition. The distinctive Gothic spires, crenellated towers, and domes of New College, Oxford, seen from the north, rise beneath an expansive sky. A few figures punctuate the wide field that dominates the scene: solitary scholars in cap and gown, who walk along its sides, and two girls who stoop to pick wildflowers.