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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: Notes from an Anatomy Lecture by Sir Anthony Carlisle c.1809-11

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 7 Recto:
Inscription by Turner: Notes from an Anatomy Lecture by Sir Anthony Carlisle circa 1809–11
Turner Bequest CXIV 7
Pencil on white wove paper, 117 x 87 mm
Part watermark ‘tman | 8’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘7’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CXIV – 7’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Thus in the Port Folio belonging to | His Majesty there is one tablet | of Leonardo da Vinci exp[?ressing] | each vertebra and the [...] | [...] or rather [...] | [... ?the part of ...] | the spine [?‘E...’ or ‘G...’]
Turner’s pencil rapidly became blunt as he wrote, and the last few lines are very difficult to make out.
Maurice Davies has related these notes, which continue from folio 6 verso opposite (D07968), to early drafts of Turner’s first Royal Academy perspective lecture,1 delivered in January 1811 (see the Introduction to the sketchbook). John Gage has shown that they derive from a Royal Academy anatomy lecture by Sir Anthony Carlisle (see under D07968), and refer to works by Leonardo (1452–1519) in the Royal Collection.2 There, among many anatomical drawings, are a ‘Diagram of the spine, nerves, vessels, etc., and notes on the intercostal muscles’ (RL 19114r, showing a cross-section of the spine and torso) and ‘The vertebral column’ (RL 19007v, showing the spine in isolation from the side, from the back and in an exploded view of how vertebrae fit together).
Davies 1994, p.290.
Gage 1987, p.254 note 34.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by Turner: Notes from an Anatomy Lecture by Sir Anthony Carlisle c.1809–11 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2012, 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-inscription-by-turner-notes-from-an-anatomy-lecture-by-sir-r1134745, accessed 28 January 2022.