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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Lecture Diagram: 'Euclid's Elements of Geometry', Book 12, Proposition 17 c.1817-28

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Lecture Diagram: ‘Euclid’s Elements of Geometry’, Book 12, Proposition 17 circa 1817–28
Turner Bequest CXCV 29
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 584 x 870 mm
Watermarked ‘J WHATMAN | 1817’
Inscribed by Turner in red and black watercolour with various initial letters within diagram
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘29’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Prepared in connection with his lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, Turner’s diagram is based on an illustration from Samuel Cunn’s Euclid’s Elements of Geometry (London 1759, Book 12, Plate 2). It illustrates Proposition 17, Book 12: ‘Problem. To describe a solid polyhedron, in the greater of two spheres, having the same centre, which shall not touch the superficies of the lesser sphere’.1 There are sketches of the Proposition in Turner’s lecture notes.2
Cunn 1759, pp.269–73.
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 V folio 35 and W folio 8.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower states that the sheet is Colombier size Whatman paper made by William Balston, at Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent.1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘11’ bottom left.

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: ‘Euclid’s Elements of Geometry’, Book 12, Proposition 17 c.1817–28 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-euclids-elements-of-geometry-book-12-r1136724, accessed 19 October 2021.