Turner, William (1789-1862) (DNB00)

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TURNER, WILLIAM (1789–1862), commonly called ‘Turner of Oxford,’ was born at Blackbourton, Oxfordshire, on 12 Nov. 1789. His parents died when he was very young, and he was brought up by an uncle, then of Burton, who in 1804 purchased the estate and manor-house of Shipton-on-Cherwell, near Woodstock. His uncle, observing his love of drawing, apprenticed him to John Varley [q. v.], of whom he was one of the earliest pupils. In January 1808 he joined the ‘Old Watercolour’ Society as associate, and became a full member in November. He also joined the Sketching Society, founded by the Chalons in that year. He settled at Oxford about 1811, where he spent the greater part of his life, chiefly employed in teaching. He sent drawings to the society's exhibitions every year till his death, contributing 455 works in all. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy, the British Institution, and Suffolk Street. He sometimes painted in oils. His subjects were taken from Oxford and its neighbourhood, and from various other places in England, Scotland, and Wales. He preferred wide prospects under broad atmospheric effects, which he treated with considerable skill, introducing sheep and cattle with good effect. He was a devoted student of nature, and had a distinct style of his own, marked by truth and simplicity rather than elegance and imagination. He died on 7 Aug. 1862 at 16 St. John's Street, Oxford, and was buried at Shipton-on-Cherwell. In 1824 he married Elizabeth Ilott at Shipton, but had no family. A loan exhibition of his works was held in the University Galleries, Oxford, in 1895.

[Redgrave's Dict.; Roget's ‘Old Watercolour’ Society; Ruskin's Modern Painters; Catalogue of Loan Exhibition at Oxford, 1895, with preface by the master of Trinity.]

C. M.