As Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, Turner devoted a large part of Lecture 1 to sculpture, discussing how the Romans adjusted the proportions of their figures depending upon the distance from which they would be seen by the viewer. According to Turner, this is exemplified by the Columns of Trajan (113 AD) and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (176–93 AD) in Rome, both of which depict victorious military campaigns in spiral bas relief high above the spectator.1 Based on prints of the columns published by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) between 1774–9, this drawing shows the bottom portion of the Column of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus in Piazza Colonna, while Diagram 5 (Tate D17123; Turner Bequest CXCV 152) depicts a view of the top. Finberg mistook these diagrams for views of Trajan’s Column.
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 C folio 8 verso–9, K folio 9 verso–10 and J folio 8 verso–9 verso.
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘144’ bottom left.
Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation
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