Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Draft of a Perspective Lecture or Speech


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 87 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXIV 46

Catalogue entry

The whole page is taken up with the following notes:
On the [?characteristic] of Students in their | plan for [blank] the study
by their works) to judge
‘[...] their superior power’ [‘ability’ inserted above the last word]
as the instruction offered is | gratuitous on the part of the Academy | and it [‘most gracious’ inserted above] founder
[...] all [... ?Eternally] the [...] | however valuable a few may be all [?equally] | [?considerable .. to the impropriety]
The second and third clauses continue from insertions in the text on folio 45 verso opposite (D08018); see the entry for the latter for their full sense. The phrase ‘by their works’ is demarcated by a continuous looping line running to the right along the top, down and back towards the left (represented by the single closing bracket in the transcription above).
Maurice Davies suggests that this and the passage opposite and further notes on folios 50 verso and 51 recto (D08025, D08026) may be related to early drafts of Turner’s first or sixth Royal Academy perspective lectures, first delivered in 1811, or notes for some other speech.1 For other perspective-related notes and diagrams in this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
Davies 1994, p.290.
Technical notes:
There are irregular, swirling areas of thicker paper and adjacent thinner areas which appear to have been a manufacturing fault, also evident on folios 31, 32 and 36 (D08002, D08003, D08007–D08008).

Matthew Imms
January 2012

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