J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Diagram and Notes on Perspective (Inscriptions by Turner) 1809

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 77 Verso:
Diagram and Notes on Perspective (Inscriptions by Turner) 1809
Turner Bequest CXII 77a
Pen and ink on white wove paper, 180 x 107 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink (see main catalogue entry)
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
These notes predominantly in French but with interventions in English are not transcribed here in view of Turner’s imperfect French and transliteration. Together with the diagram below them on this leaf they are taken from Jan (Hans) Vredeman de Vries, Perspective, part 2, Leyden 1605, preface and pl.18. Turner usually used the British Museum’s library for such works; in this instance his likely source is now in the British Library. Vredeman de Vries (1527–circa 1607) was most notable for his assertion that the basic principle of perspective is the existence of vanishing points on which all lines converge, as demonstrated in the diagram where they join at a point on the horizon line
Below the drawing, Turner has written ‘by crossing the work square it makes almost ... | thing possible’.

David Blayney Brown
June 2009

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Diagram and Notes on Perspective (Inscriptions by Turner) 1809 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-diagram-and-notes-on-perspective-inscriptions-by-turner-r1135788, accessed 01 December 2020.