Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Diagram Indicating Perspective, Light or Reflections

c.1808–11

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 87 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D07991
Turner Bequest CXIV 21

Catalogue entry

Maurice Davies has listed the studies here, on folios 20 verso opposite and the verso (D07990, D07992) as ‘Perspective or reflective constructions’1 in relation to the preparations for Turner’s perspective lectures, delivered at the Royal Academy from January 1811 onwards (see the Introduction to the sketchbook). The three diagrams grow progressively more complex.
The stamped Turner number partly obscures a small disk drawn in pencil towards the bottom right, perhaps representing the sun or another light source. Alternatively it may be a letter ‘O’, relating to what is probably a capital ‘H’ at the centre right, indicating the horizon line.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

1
Davies 1994, p.290.

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