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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: Terms for Classical Intercolumniation and Ground Plans, from Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo c.1809

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 38 Recto:
Inscription by Turner: Terms for Classical Intercolumniation and Ground Plans, from Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo circa 1809
D07417
Turner Bequest CVIII 38
Pen and ink on white wove paper, 88 x 115 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘38’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CVIII – 38’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner’s notes run down the left-hand side of the page:
Pycnostyle 1 or 1 ½ diam | Systylos 2 2 ½ | Diastyle 3 | Areostyle 4 5 6 | Anta front of the Pilasters | Prostylos 2 columns against the | Pilasters at the corners | Amphiprostylos | Peripteros | Pseudodipteros | Dipteros | <Hypæt> Hypæthos: [‘r’ inserted above between ‘h’ and ‘o’, i.e. ‘Hypæthros’] uncoverd to the | Air
Maurice Davies has identified these terms as coming from the 1598 English edition of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo’s Tracte Containing the Artes of Curious Paintinge Carvinge & Buildinge (see the sketchbook Introduction).1 They are from chapter XXIX, ‘Of the Intercolumneations [sic] of the Columnes in Respect of Themselves, and of their Dimensions, and Aspectes’ of ‘The First Booke: Of the Naturall and Artificiall Proportions of Things’, pages 104 (to ‘4 5 6’), 106 (to ‘Peripteros’), and 107. Lomazzo gives the terms as a series of headings, each with a short paragraph of explanation from which Turner has noted the fundamental points.
Intercolumniation is the spacing between classical columns expressed as units of their diameters, as set out by the Roman architectural writer Vitruvius; the list continues with the names of ground plans of Greek temples in terms of the arrangement of their columns.2 Lastly, a hypaethros is a type of opening in a temple roof. A number of Turner’s perspective lecture diagrams (Tate; Turner Bequest CXCV) show plans and elevations of classical architecture.

Matthew Imms
June 2008

1
Davies 1994, p.288; Lomazzo also checked directly.
2
See ‘Glossary’ in John Summerson, The Classical Language of Architecture, revised ed., London 1980, pp.122–34.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by Turner: Terms for Classical Intercolumniation and Ground Plans, from Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo 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-inscription-by-turner-terms-for-classical-intercolumniation-r1136613, accessed 20 April 2021.