Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram: Anamorphic Perspective

c.1817–28

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

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 488 x 693 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17107
Turner Bequest CXCV 136

Catalogue entry

Made in connection with Turner’s lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, this diagram of a head within a grid works along with another diagram (Tate D17106; Turner Bequest CXCV 135, and see also D16988; Turner Bequest CXCV 19) to illustrate anamorphic perspective. This method produces a distorted image that appears in natural form only when viewed at a special angle or reflected from a curved mirror.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower (unpublished notes)1 writes that the sheet is Super Royal size Whatman paper made by Finch and Thomas Robert Hollingworth, at Turkey Mill, Maidstone, Kent.
1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscriptions by unknown hands in pencil ‘130’ bottom left and ‘LP6 Antiq | CXCV [crossed out]’ bottom right

Andrea Fredericksen
January 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

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