Joseph Mallord William TurnerLecture Diagram: 'Euclid's Elements of Geometry', Book 12, Proposition 17 c.1817-28

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Lecture Diagram: 'Euclid's Elements of Geometry', Book 12, Proposition 17
Date c.1817-28
MediumGraphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensionssupport: 584 x 870 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16999
Turner Bequest CXCV 29
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Lecture Diagram: ‘Euclid’s Elements of Geometry’, Book 12, Proposition 17 circa 1817–28
D16999
Turner Bequest CXCV 29
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 584 x 870 mm
Watermarked ‘J WHATMAN | 1817’
Inscribed by Turner in red and black watercolour with various initial letters within diagram
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘29’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Prepared in connection with his lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, Turner’s diagram is based on an illustration from Samuel Cunn’s Euclid’s Elements of Geometry (London 1759, Book 12, Plate 2). It illustrates Proposition 17, Book 12: ‘Problem. To describe a solid polyhedron, in the greater of two spheres, having the same centre, which shall not touch the superficies of the lesser sphere’.1 There are sketches of the Proposition in Turner’s lecture notes.2
1
Cunn 1759, pp.269–73.
2
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 V folio 35 and W folio 8.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower states that the sheet is Colombier size Whatman paper made by William Balston, at Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent.1
1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘11’ bottom left.

Andrea Fredericksen
June 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

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