Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 26: Interior of the Great Room at Somerset House, London

c.1810

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 669 x 1000 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17040
Turner Bequest CXCV 70

Display caption

During his lectures Turner perhaps pointed at the upper part of the room as he explained: 'The upper line of cornice to all those seated in [the] centre appears to dip each way, and the underneath part or lines appear to approach each other as they recede from the eye.' In spite of this, the rules of perspective do not depict such lines as converging if the building is parallel to the picture plane, but as strictly horizontal on the picture surface, as Turner shows here.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

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