Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Draft of a Perspective Lecture or Speech


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 87 x 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXIV 50 a

Catalogue entry

The whole page is taken up with the following:
Gentlemen in now closing my book | I [?consider] myself address you as a me<...> | member of the body or trust [?&] that I | speak the [?convictions worthy] of the | Institution in saying that the greatest | praise the [?proffesor] desires is a silent | attention and that [?inst...] of the | establishment which consists in the | ... of their endeavours ... | but manifested by only by the value | the students ... give by their works
Maurice Davies suggests that this, the passage on folio 51 recto opposite (D08026) and notes on folios 45 verso and 46 recto (D08018, D08019) may be related to early drafts of Turner’s first or sixth Royal Academy perspective lectures, first delivered in 1811 (see the Introduction to the sketchbook), or notes for some other speech.1 James Hamilton has noted the similarity with the rousing final paragraph of Turner’s ‘Backgrounds’ perspective lecture, the sixth and last of the series, which has fully transcribed from Turner’s manuscript and discussed by Jerrold Ziff;2 Turner’s draft on folio 51 recto is more directly related to the text as delivered, which is quoted in the relevant entry.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

Davies 1994, p.290.
Hamilton 1997, p.132; see Jerrold Ziff, ‘“Backgrounds, Introduction of Architecture and Landscape”: A Lecture by J.M.W. Turner’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol.26, 1963, pp.124–47.

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