Joseph Mallord William Turner

Profile of the Upper Stages of the Monument, London

c.1808–11

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 117 x 87 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D07988
Turner Bequest CXIV 19 a

Catalogue entry

The main outline of the top of the Monument, London, appears to be inscribed at various points ‘2’, ‘2’, ‘8’ and ‘10’; a secondary diagram of the doorway in the drum, just to the right, is labelled ‘Door’ and annotated ‘½’, ‘6’, ‘[?2]’ and ‘3’. There are further related dimensions on folio 20 recto opposite (D07989).
Maurice Davies relates this and the studies on folios 12 verso–13 recto, 17 recto, 20 recto, 31 recto and 34 recto (D07977, D07978, D07985, D07989, D08002, D08005) to Turner’s first perspective lecture, delivered at the Royal Academy in January 1811 (see the Introduction to the sketchbook); Turner discussed the ‘flaming ball’ surmounting the Monument and the distance from the base at ground level from which it could be viewed,1 in relation to his large watercolour diagram ‘4’ showing both the whole structure and the upper stages from below (Tate D17122; Turner Bequest CXCV 151). For further details of the structure see under folio 12 verso (D07977).

Matthew Imms
January 2012

1
Davies pp.32, 106 note 8; Davies 1994, p.290.

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