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This watercolour preparation study of Radcliffe Camera, Oxford is 24cm x 18cm, signed, and mounted on acid-free card.

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A bit about The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

I was recently sent off to work on a painting in Oxford. Once I had completed my initial ideas I wondered about the colleges with my watercolour pad. It didn’t take long to decide to paint this neo-classical gem. 

The building is the earliest example in England of a circular library. James Gibbs designed and oversaw the building of the Radcliffe Science Library between 1737–49. The library was paid for by the eminent doctor John Radcliffe who left £40,000 upon his death for the construction of a library dedicated to the sciences and serving as a reading room for the Bodleian Library.

Its striking appearance doesn’t go unnoticed in popular culture.  J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, used it as abasis for Sauron’s temple to Morgoth on Númenor. It is also mentioned in Lyra’s Oxford, a book in the universe of His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman.

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