Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram: Method for Finding the Diameter of the Earth

c.1817–28

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 490 x 695 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17146
Turner Bequest CXCV 175

Catalogue entry

Made in connection with Turner’s lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, this diagram is related to a sketch in a manuscript used for lecturing on geometry.1 There, Turner describes a method for finding ‘the diameter of the earth’ in order to discuss ‘a natural kind of trigonometry of vision’.
1
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 X folio 29.
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Peter Bower (unpublished notes)1 writes that the sheet is Super Royal size Whatman paper made by Finch and Thomas Robert Hollingworth, at Turkey Mill, Maidstone, Kent.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 an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘168’ bottom left.

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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