Joseph Mallord William Turner

Geometric Diagrams and Doodles


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 172 x 154 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 132

Catalogue entry

The doodles here include a grid of squares, various clusters of dots, and a capital ‘N’ shown in regular and italic forms. There is a slight but no doubt fortuitous echo of Turner’s Royal Academy perspective lecture diagrams dealing with a picture in anamorphic perspective (Tate D17106–D17107; Turner Bequest CXCV 135, 136).
Compare the various random letters in Tate D34584 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 191). Although not Margate subjects per se, both sheets are included here on technical grounds; see the notes below. See under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a) for closely related works in this Margate subsection and elsewhere.
Technical notes:
The partial watermark ‘mlett’ likely indicates the Devon papermaker Edward Norish Tremlett, operating at various mills around Exeter between 1831 and 1856, in partnership with Dewdney between 1831 and 1833, and Charles Harris between 1833 and 1851.1
This and Tate D34494 and D34495 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 133, 134) are on tall, narrow halves of folded sheets (with notches at the head and foot of the fold) similar to several other once-folded bifolio sheets in this subsection and elsewhere, as discussed under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a). The horizontal dimension of the half actually drawn on is 77 mm.
See ‘Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 7: The Devon paper trades: a biographical dictionary: Exeter’, Exeter Working Papers in Book History, accessed 4 May 2016,

Matthew Imms
August 2016

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