Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 30: Perspective Method for a Cube (after Samuel Marolois and Jean-François Niceron)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 672 × 998 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCV 74

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Diagram 30 combines methods by Samuel Marolois, a mathematician and fortification designer, and Jean-François Niceron, a geometrical theorist.

For Marolois's technique, Turner directs his students to place the eye (E) at the center line (C) where it cuts the horizon line (H). Then draw the plan of the object (P) to be put into perspective. Where perpendicular lines meet the base line (B), mark vanishing lines to the eye. Now draw transfer lines from the plan to the base line and connect to a point (V) at the side. The places at which all these lines intersect form the bottom of the cube.

Gallery label, August 2004

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