Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 14: The Terminology of Perspective of Joseph Moxon

c.1810

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Medium
Pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 482 x 600 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17028
Turner Bequest CXCV 58

Display caption

Turner’s second lecture was devoted to the terms and procedures of standard perspective. He included terminology used by now lesser known writers, such as the English hydographer and mathematician Joseph Moxon. Turner owned a copy of his manual Perspective, or Perspective Made Easie, published about 1670, which included pop-up illustrations.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Diagram 14 is likely to be associated with Turner’s discussion, in Lecture 2 as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, of the terminology of the discipline. It is headed ‘MOXON’ and claims to show the importance attached by the author to ‘ichnography’, but as Maurice Davies points out, so such diagram is to be found in Joseph Moxon’s Practical Perspective (1670).1 Apparently Turner’s own design, it illustrates a method due to the elder Thomas Malton; see his Compleat Treatise on Perspective in Theory and Paractice on the True Principles of Dr Brook Taylor, 1775, pp.48–9.
1
Davies 1994, p.299 note 41. See Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 BL MS L folio 3. For earlier versions of material, see D folio 2 verso and E folio 4.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower states that the sheet is Royal size Whatman paper made by William Balston and Finch and Thomas Robert Hollingworth, at Turkey Mill, Maidstone, Kent. He writes that ‘all the group of papers with 1794 dates in the watermark show considerable process dirt and poor formation’. He attributes the lack of quality control to James Whatman’s stroke and the change of ownership at the mill.1
1
Notes in tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘60’ bottom left.

Andrea Fredericksen
June 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

Read full Catalogue entry