Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 8/2: Elevation of a Stoa or Portico (after James Stuart)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 674 × 1003 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCV 170

Display caption

Completed in outline form, this drawing of a classical portico allowed Turner to show how geometric elevations make it difficult to read the relationships and distances between columns and walls.

This is made particularly obvious when this drawing is compared to a ground plan of the structure’s exact arrangements (see the diagram shown to the left). As the elevation is a direct and flat projection of the portico from the side, the viewer cannot see how many columns are along the front of the building.

Gallery label, September 2004

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