Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 27: Perspective Method for a Cube (after Jean Pélerin)

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: 672 x 999 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17041
Turner Bequest CXCV 71

Display caption

This is Turner’s first diagram in his survey of historical methods for drawing a cube. The technique was proposed by Jean Pélerin, a French cleric and scholar, who wrote under the name ‘Viator’. His book De Artificiali Perspectiva 1505 was the first ‘how-to’ book on perspective published in Europe.

The basis of Pélerin’s construction was the ‘distance point’ method. This required a principal vanishing point and two distance points at either side to find the shape.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry