Diagram 51 is based on an illustration from A Compleat Treatise on Perspectivein Theory and practice on the True Principles of Dr Brook Taylor (1775, pl.XVIII, fig.86) by the elder Thomas Malton (1726–1801). See notes to Diagram 50 (Tate D17067; Turner Bequest CXCV 97) for the possibility that both may have been used to illustrate the treatment of a cornice, and for their relationship to Lecture 4 prepared by Turner as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy. Indications of a transfer process on the back suggest that Turner traced the drawing in order to make the guiding lines of Diagram 50.
Peter Bower states that the sheet is Double Elephant size Whatman paper made by William Balston, at Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent. The largest group within the perspective drawings, this batch of paper shows a ‘grid-like series of shadows that can be seen within the sheet in transmitted light. This appears to have been caused by a trial method of supporting the woven wire mould cover on the mould’. Because this is the only batch he has seen with such a feature, Bower believes that ‘it may have been tried on one pair of moulds and for some reason never tried again’. He also writes that it is ‘not the best Whatman paper by any means; the weight of this group is also very variable and the moulds have not been kept clean during use’.1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
See Tate D40018, and notes above.
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