Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Lecture Diagram: ‘Euclid’s Elements of Geometry’, Book 12, Proposition 17 circa 1817–28
Turner Bequest CXCV 29
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 584 x 870 mm
Watermarked ‘J WHATMAN | 1817’
Inscribed by Turner in red and black watercolour with various initial letters within diagram
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘29’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.582, CXCV 29, as ‘Geometrical figure’.
Maurice William Davies, ‘J.M.W. Turner’s Approach to Perspective in His Royal Academy Lectures of 1811’, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, London 1994, p.277–8.
Prepared in connection with his lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, Turner’s diagram is based on an illustration from Samuel Cunn’s Euclid’s Elements of Geometry
(London 1759, Book 12, Plate 2). It illustrates Proposition 17, Book 12: ‘Problem. To describe a solid polyhedron, in the greater of two spheres, having the same centre, which shall not touch the superficies of the lesser sphere’.1
There are sketches of the Proposition in Turner’s lecture notes.2
Peter Bower states that the sheet is Colombier size Whatman paper made by William Balston, at Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent.1
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘11’ bottom left.
Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation
How to cite
Andrea Fredericksen, ‘Lecture Diagram: ‘Euclid’s Elements of Geometry’, Book 12, Proposition 17 c.1817–28 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2004, revised by David Blayney Brown, January 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-lecture-diagram-euclids-elements-of-geometry-book-12-r1136724, accessed 27 November 2015.