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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Lecture Diagram: Anamorphic Perspective c.1817-28

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Lecture Diagram: Anamorphic Perspective circa 1817–28
Turner Bequest CXCV 135
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 488 x 695 mm
Watermarked ‘J WHATMAN | TURKEY MILLS | 1817’
Inscribed by Turner in red and black watercolour various initial letters and numbers within diagram
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘135’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Made in connection with Turner’s lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, this diagram of a head within a grid works along with another diagram (Tate D17107; Turner Bequest CXCV 136, and see also D16988; Turner Bequest CXCV 19) to illustrate anamorphic perspective. This method produces a distorted image that appears in natural form only when viewed at a special angle or reflected from a curved mirror.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower (unpublished notes)1 writes that the sheet is Super Royal size Whatman paper made by Finch and Thomas Robert Hollingworth, at Turkey Mill, Maidstone, Kent. This group ‘show both very good sheets as well as some outside, or retree, sheets where the “back” of the sheet, size spots and streaking, and formation shadows are visible’.
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘129’ bottom left.
Andrea Fredericksen
Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

How to cite

, ‘Lecture Diagram: Anamorphic Perspective c.1817–28 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, 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-anamorphic-perspective-r1136787, accessed 02 March 2021.