Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Notes on Sculptural 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 35

Catalogue entry

The whole page is taken up with the following notes:
The proportion of the Trajan column is of the | same order increasing in size as it receded | from the eye in a spiral line but not all | of either to the proportions of the component | parts or the spiral line the Antonine | pillar the same excepting the collosal | figure of Fame in the second tier of | Figures the [...] of each was supp | to be devoted to collosal figure of [...] | which Per[...] has most in[...] | given in the Trajan which in[...]ed
The source of these passages on proportion in relation to architecture (including the Trajan and Antonine Columns in Rome) remains unidentified.1 The notes run continuously from the present page to folio 37 verso (D07411–D07416). Trajan’s Column also features on folios 34 recto, 35 verso, 36 verso, 37 recto, 37 verso and 61 verso (D07409, D07412, D07414–D07416, D07459); see also the entry for folio 33 verso (D07408). The Antonine Column is mentioned again on folios 35 verso (D07412) and 37 verso.

Matthew Imms
June 2008

Davies 1994, p.288.

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