Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram: Two Octagons

c.1817–28

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 672 x 1000 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17001
Turner Bequest CXCV 31

Catalogue entry

Made in connection with Turner’s lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, this diagram of two octagons, one in a circle and the other in a square, may have been used in his later lectures on geometry.
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Peter Bower (unpublished notes)1 writes that the sheet is Double Elephant size Whatman paper made by William Balston and Finch and Thomas Robert Hollingworth, at Turkey Mill,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’.
1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘17’ bottom left.

Andrea Fredericksen
January 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

Read full Catalogue entry