Joseph Mallord William TurnerLecture Diagram: Square and Circle c.1817-28

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Artwork details

Lecture Diagram: Square and Circle
Date c.1817-28
MediumGraphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensionssupport: 672 x 999 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCV 22
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Lecture Diagram: Square and Circle circa 1817–28
Turner Bequest CXVC 22
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 672 x 999 mm
Watermarked ‘1794 | J WHATMAN’
Inscribed by Turner in red watercolour ‘Square’ centre left and ‘Circle’ centre right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘22’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This diagram of a square and circle may have been used in Turner’s later lectures on geometry, given as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower (unpublished notes)1 writes that the sheet is Double Elephant size Whatman paper made by William Balston and Finch and Thomas Robert Hollingworth, at Turkey Mill, Maidstone, Kent. Bower notes that ‘all of the group of papers with 1794 dates in the watermark show considerable process dirt and poor formation. Perhaps this lack of quality control at Turkey Mill was the result of the disruption caused by James Whatman’s stroke and the change of ownership at the mill’.
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘2’ bottom left.

Andrea Fredericksen
January 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

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