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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Diagram of a Perspective Method for a Cube, after Guidobaldo del Monte c.1809

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 43 Recto:
Diagram of a Perspective Method for a Cube, after Guidobaldo del Monte circa 1809
Turner Bequest CVIII 43
Pen and ink on white wove paper, 88 x 115 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink ‘Ubaldus 1600’ top centre and with letters ‘N’, ‘M’, ‘H’, ‘X’, ‘K’, etc. at various points on the diagram
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘43’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CVIII – 43’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Maurice Davies identifies this diagram of a cube and various vanishing points as taken from Guidobaldo del Monte, Perspectivae libri sex, Pesaro 1600, page 135; it was used for Turner’s perspective lecture diagram 29, also labelled (following Thomas Malton’s usage in his perspective writings) ‘UBALDUS | 1600’ (Tate D17043; Turner Bequest CXCV 73).1 Turner probably consulted the copy at the British Museum (since transferred to the British Library, London).
For Turner’s various manuscript notes concerning the diagram, see the entry for D17043. Davies has observed that Turner did not copy any of Guidobaldo’s Latin text, and relied on the diagram alone ‘for all he wrote on the author over the next 15 years’.2 There is another drawing from Guidobaldo on the verso of the present leaf (D07428).

Matthew Imms
June 2008

Davies 1992, p.19, showing 1600 source and Turner’s lecture diagram as figs.7 and 6 respectively; Davies 1994, pp.84, 288, with 1600 source and lecture diagram shown as figs.3.1 (diagram within surrounding Latin text) and 3.4 respectively.
Davies 1994, p.85; Guidobaldo del Monte’s method discussed pp.85–7.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Diagram of a Perspective Method for a Cube, after Guidobaldo del Monte c.1809 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2008, 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-of-a-perspective-method-for-a-cube-after-guidobaldo-r1136623, accessed 15 February 2019.