Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 43: Perspective Construction of a Tuscan Pedestal


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 673 × 1002 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCV 93

Catalogue entry

Prepared by Turner for Lecture 3 as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, Diagram 43 was presented as Turner continued his discussion of the architectural orders and their component parts (see note to Diagram 40; Tate D17058; Turner Bequest CXCV 88). Diagram 43 illustrates a method for drawing a Tuscan pedestal in perspective. Turner explains that ‘after the entablature and capital, the pedestal is a mere trifle. It can equally be obtained by the cube marked off either at its base or the original line of the entablature’.1 At the end of this passage Turner has written in graphite ‘End of Third Lecture’, which suggests to Davies that at some unknown date, possibly for the course given in 1811, Turner decided to divide Lecture 3 into two parts and to conclude it with this diagram.2
See lecture Diagram 52 (Tate D17070; Turner Bequest CXCV 100) for the likely first illustration of Lecture 4 according to this division of the material.
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 M folio 16.
Ibid., MS M folio 16 verso; Davies 1994, pp.257, 273.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower states that the sheet is Double Elephant size Whatman paper made by William Balston, at Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent. The largest group within the perspective drawings, this batch of paper shows a ‘grid-like series of shadows that can be seen within the sheet in transmitted light. This appears to have been caused by a trial method of supporting the woven wire mould cover on the mould’. Because this is the only batch he has seen with such a feature, Bower believes that ‘it may have been tried on one pair of moulds and for some reason never tried again’. He also writes that it is ‘not the best Whatman paper by any means; the weight of this group is also very variable and the moulds have not been kept clean during use’.1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘93’ bottom left.

Andrea Fredericksen
June 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop