John Ruskin (1819-1900)

John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Studies of Landscapes and Plants including Drawings after Durer and Veronese for Ruskin's 'Modern Painters'

the majority inscribed on the reverse; pencil, pen and brown ink, some with wash, one with white heightening on grey blue paper, unframed
9 x 6in. (229 x 153mm.), and smaller; and an unframed study of the Bay of Naples by the same hand (6)

Lot Essay

Four of these drawings are for Ruskin's illustrations for his Modern Painters, ed. V, 1860 (E.T. Cook and A. Wederburn, ed., The Works of John Ruskin, ed. VII, 1905); plate 51, 'The Dryad's Tail'; engraved by J.C. Armytage, showing an outer spray of oak in winter before budding (p.27); plate 57, 'Leafage by Durer and Veronese', engraved by R.P. Cuff, where these examples are praised for their vitality and naturalism at the expense of Salvator Rosa (pp.89-90): figure 56, showing two Scotch firs enlarged a few times from a detail of Turner's Liber Studiorum plate of Inverary, to demonstrate 'double action: the warping of the leaves away from the sea-wind, and the continual growing out of the boughs on the right-hand side to recover the balance' (p.87); and, three on one page, figures 88, 'an effect of sky behind the tower of Berne Cathedral' with the Eiger on the right (p.169), figure 89, 'drift-cloud of level country' (p.169), and rising drift-cloud (p.XVII n.4). The other drawing of a leafy branch was probably also intended for a didactic illustration.

The other, larger drawing shows the Bay of Naples with the Palazzo Donn'Anna on the right and is a variant of a drawing sold at Sotheby's, 12 July 1984, lot 47, which lacks signature but bears title. It was reproduced as an illustration in one of Ruskins's letters to a college friend from Naples, 12 February 1841 (Cook and Wederburn, op.cit., ed.I, 1903, pl.17) and dates from his visit to Naples in that year

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