It is very unusual to see a room depicted in such a state of disarray, with the desk and every other surface - even the chair seat - piled with books and papers. The usual purpose of interior views was to record a pleasing achievement in the arrangement and decoration of living rooms. This drawing presents unvarnished the reality of scholarly pursuits, but not in an anecdotal or satirical spirit. A curious feature is the fact that all the books on the shelves around the room are bound uniformly. This is no accident or failure of effort on the part of the artist, since the scattered books are carefully differentiated.
George Pyne was one of the artist sons of William Henry Pyne, who was celebrated for his publication in 1819 of a series of highly detailed watercolours of royal residences. George Pyne's style of interior view owes much to the influence of the talented team of artists involved in this earlier work, particularly in his feel for the fall of light and for the great variety of textures in decoration and furnishings. His speciality was the buildings of Oxford, both interiors and exterior views, including a series of fashionably furnished rooms in Christ Church.
A pair of watercolours entitled The Interior of a Room at Christ Church, Oxford, was sold in these Rooms, 9 July 1991, lot 129 (#15,000)