Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram: Hamilton’s Harmonic Proportions

c.1810–28

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

Medium
Pen and ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 485 x 682 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17133
Turner Bequest CXCV 162

Catalogue entry

Made in connection with Turner’s lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, this diagram is based on figures 55 and 56 from John Hamilton’s Stereography; or a Complete Body of Perspective in all its Branches (1738, pl.18) where they illustrate ‘Properties of lines harmonically divided.’ Maurice Davies writes that the diagram was left unfinished. For a preliminary sketch by Turner, also after Hamilton, see the Perspective Sketchbook (Tate D07383; Turner Bequest CVIII 17).
Technical ntes:
Peter Bower (unpublished notes)1 writes that the sheet is Super Royal size Whatman paper made by William Balston and Finch and Thomas Robert Hollingworth, at Turkey Mill, Maidstone, Kent. Bower adds that ‘all the sheets in this batch have some streaking across the sheet, probably from a fault in the sizing’.

Andrea Fredericksen
January 2004

1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

Read full Catalogue entry