The Dreaming Spires of Oxford
Our grandson went up to Oxford about a year ago. He sent us a postcard during his first term. The view was of the dreaming spires which was an ideal picture for painting. All those old favourites, Tom Tower and the Ratcliffe Camera plus a few that I’ve forgotten
A tremendous amount of national history took place in Oxford. The university is one of the four oldest in Europe, and I believe that Merton is the oldest college, although happy to be corrected on that score. I haven’t been there for years, unfortunately. I remember in the cathedral, there is the notch in the wall which supported the dais on which Cranmer sat during his trial.There was only one outcome to this trial. He was going to burn. Queen Mary had already decided. She hated him for the way that he had treated her mother, Catherine of Aragon in the past. And, of course, burn he did, and the spot is still marked.
During the Civil War that followed about a century later, Oxford was the seat of the King and the Royalist Party. London had declared for Parliament.
In this painting, I struggled to capture the soft light on the honey-coloured stone, and hopefully a quiet peaceful atmosphere. Others may judge me on that score
I haven’t shown this painting publicly yet. My first opportunity is at the end of this month, when I show with the Village Artist at Denbies Wine Estate near Dorking, Surrey. They have been kind in the past, so we shall have to see what the reaction is.