Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Notes on Architectural Proportion and Perspective, from an Unidentified Source


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 88 × 115 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CVIII 36 a

Catalogue entry

The whole page is taken up with the following notes:
[?even] in Adoption tho not to be always | [?followd] is commended and of which [...] | one. too numerous of pla[...] the [...] | ev[...] [?intended] to bear the [...]ing | element under cover and as a [?vestibule] | to a staircase or the ma[...] | of Athenian temple to a private dwelling | the Cornice of the [‘Pedestal’ inserted above] Trajans column is | another instance of adoption tho.. | incoherent as to the adoption yet [...] | [...]
There is a small diagram at the foot of the page, showing the profile of a classical cornice, labelled ‘egg | Leaves’ and ‘egg long | Leaf’, and a further small diagram showing a section of moulding, labelled ‘[...]lno’.
The source of these passages on proportion in relation to architecture (including the Trajan and Antonine Columns in Rome) remains unidentified.1 Trajan’s Column also features in Turner’s notes on folios 34 recto, 35 recto, 35 verso, 37 recto, 37 verso and 61 verso (D07409, D07411, D07412, D07415, D07416, D07459); see also the entry for folio 33 verso (D07408). The present notes run continuously from folio 35 recto to folio 37 verso (D07411–D07416).

Matthew Imms
June 2008

Davies 1994, p.288.

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