Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 5: Top of the Column of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Rome

c.1810

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

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 980 x 642 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17124
Turner Bequest CXCV 153

Display caption

This detailed diagram of Trajan's column was probably drawn from a plaster
copy. Turner used the image during
his first lecture to the Royal Academy
as Professor of Perspective in 1811.

 

Turner discussed the problems of representing the distortion of sculptural features when viewed from below. In
this example, the spiral bas-reliefs are
at the top of a column thirty metres
high. Turner's delivery of his lectures
was apparently poor, but people came
to see the illustrations.

 

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry