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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Lecture Diagram 8: Statue of King Charles II (after Joseph Moxon) c.1810

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Lecture Diagram 8: Statue of King Charles II (after Joseph Moxon) circa 1810
D17025
Turner Bequest CXCV 55
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 999 x 673 mm
Watermarked ‘J WHATMAN | 1808’
Inscribed by Turner in red watercolour ‘8’ top left and in black and red watercolour ‘CAROLUS | SECONDUS | DEI GRA TIA | MAGNA BRIT – | TANIA FRAN – | CIA ET HIBERNIA | REX | Eye | Horizon | Moxon’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘55’ bottom left
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Made by Turner to accompany his discussion of height and relative proportion in sculpture in Lecture 1 as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, Diagram 8 is based on an illustration from Joseph Moxon’s Practical Perspective; or Perspective Made Easy (1670, pl.XXXII). Turner owned a copy of the treatise.1 He describes the diagram as ‘whimsical’, working both as a tribute to King Charles II and as a representation of Moxon’s ‘principle of showing the necessity of increasing proportions so that the parts according to their elevations should increase in size’ and yet still appear ‘the same size by making the angle equal to vision upon a segment or radius’.2
1
For Turner’s library see Andrew Wilton, Turner and His Time, London 1987, p.247.
2
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 J folio 9.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower states that the sheet is Double Elephant size Whatman paper made by William Balston, at Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent. The largest group within the perspective drawings, this batch of paper shows a ‘grid-like series of shadows that can be seen within the sheet in transmitted light. This appears to have been caused by a trial method of supporting the woven wire mould cover on the mould’. Because this is the only batch he has seen with such a feature, Bower believes that ‘it may have been tried on one pair of moulds and for some reason never tried again’. He also writes that it is ‘not the best Whatman paper by any means; the weight of this group is also very variable and the moulds have not been kept clean during use’.1
1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘55’ bottom right.

Andrea Fredericksen
June 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

How to cite

Andrea Fredericksen, ‘Lecture Diagram 8: Statue of King Charles II (after Joseph Moxon) c.1810 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2004, revised by David Blayney Brown, 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-lecture-diagram-8-statue-of-king-charles-ii-after-joseph-r1136466, accessed 19 May 2022.