Joseph Mallord William Turner

Diagrams: A Method of Putting a Cube in Perspective, after Salomon de Caus; with Bibliographical Notes on Perspective Sources


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and pen and ink on paper
Support: 88 × 115 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CVIII 7 a

Catalogue entry

The top half of the page is taken up with the following perspective-related notes for future reference:
to look after Stephano Florentino
Do. [i.e. ‘ditto’] at 1505 for a square
Do. at Lamazzio. see if Lamatius is [‘the same person’, running onto the opposite page (folio 8 recto; D07368)]
Do. Du Cas – square is wanting
For a longer note on Stefano Fiorentino, see folio 5 verso (D07364). As Maurice Davies has noted, ‘1505’ refers to Viator (Jean Pélerin), De Artificiali Perspectiva, published in that year1 (see entry for folio 27 recto; D07396). Lamazzio and Lamatius seem to be variations on the name of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo, extensive passages of whose 1598 Tracte Turner copied elsewhere in the present book (see the sketchbook Introduction).
Davies has identified the two variant diagrams in ink below as a demonstration of how to show a cube in perspective, taken from Salomon de Caus, La Perspective avec la raison des ombres et miroirs, London 1612, ‘Chapitre Deuxiesme’ (unpaginated), which Turner copied again on folio 54 verso (D07450), though without noting the method involved.2

Matthew Imms
June 2008

Davies 1994, p.88
Ibid., pp.98, 287, 308 note 56, 310 note 77

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