Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram: Salisbury Cathedral Steeple

c.1812–28

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

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 719 x 589 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17114
Turner Bequest CXCV 143

Catalogue entry

Made in connection with Turner’s lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, this rendering of the steeple of Salisbury Cathedral is related a discussion of the building and of ‘geometric forms of architecture in the province of the geometric laws of perspective’.1 Turner refers to the diagram in a manuscript used for lecturing sometime between 1814 and 1816 and in another version of the same lecture used around 1818.2 There is also a sketch of the diagram in the first version of the material.3
For another detail of Salisbury Cathedral drawn for the lectures see Tate D17113; Turner Bequest CXCV 142.
1
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 T folio 14 verso.
2
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 R folios 50–3 and T folios 17 verso–18; Davies 1994, p.275.
3
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 R folio 51.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower (unpublished notes)1 writes that the sheet is Elephant size Whatman paper made by William Balston, at Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent.
1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘137’ bottom right.

Andrea Fredericksen
January 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

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