William Turner of Oxford
Haymaking – study from nature, in Osney Meadow, near Oxford, looking towards Iffley
- Watercolour and gouache
- 9 ¾ × 13 ¾ inches · 250 × 350 mm
- Signed and inscribed Oxford, lower left
- Frederick Parker Morrell, c.1838–1908;
- Harriette Morrell, widow of the above, 1925;
- Morrell sale, Knight, Frank & Rutley, Black Hall, Oxford, 28 April 1925, lot 169, bought 4 gns;
- Mrs. Warren, purchased at the above sale;
- A. P. Warren, by descent, 1971;
- R. E. Alton MC; by descent to 2011.
- London, The Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours, 1854, no. 78 (5gns.);
- Thos. Agnew & Sons, London, January - February 1972;
- Woodstock, Oxfordshire County Museum, William Turner of Oxford (1789-1862), 1984-5, touring exhibition to The Bankside Gallery, London, and The Museum and Art Gallery, Bolton, cat. no. 79.
- Susie O’Reilly, Christopher Titterington and Timothy Wilcox, William Turner of Oxford (1789-1862) exhibition catalogue, 1984-5, cat. no. 79, repr. p. 73.
This is a particularly successful late treatment of a favourite composition of Turner of Oxford’s. The composition is cleverly composed to draw the eye whilst containing the viewer’s focus on the harvesters within a relatively featureless open landscape.
Frederick Parker Morrell (c.1838–1908) the original owner of this watercolour formed the largest known collection of Turner of Oxford’s works which included pictures purchased by his mother as early as 1818. Morrell was matriculated at the University of Oxford from St John’s College on 29 June 1857 and obtained a Fourth in Natural Sciences in 1861. In 1863 Morrell succeeded his father as Steward of St John’s College (a post he held until 1882). In 1867 Morrell married Harriette Wynter, the daughter of the President of St John’s and was also recorded as being in partnership as a solicitor with his father at 1 St Giles (the address the firm was to occupy until the 1990s. In 1880 Morrell was appointed University Coroner and Registrar to the Vice-Chancellor’s Court, and succeeded his father as Solicitor to the University and Clerk to the Local Board and School Board. Further success came in 1899 when Morrell was elected Mayor of Oxford, the first graduate of the University of Oxford to hold this office. Morrell died in 1908, and his widow survived until 1925. Their son Philip was the husband of Ottoline Morrell.