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John Ruskin, H.R.W.S. (1819-1900)
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John Ruskin, H.R.W.S. (1819-1900)

Spanish chestnut

John Ruskin, H.R.W.S. (1819-1900)
Spanish chestnut
pencil and pen and black ink
2½ x 3½ in. (6.4 x 9 cm.)
Mrs E.M. Gordon (+); Christie's, London, 8 July 1986, lot 42 (part).
Sotheby's, London, 25 November 2004, lot 179 (part).
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the illustration for this lot has been transposed with lot 172.

Lot Essay

In May 1845 Ruskin drew a Spanish chestnut at Carrara and this is reproduced in E.T. Cook and A. Wedderburn, Library Edition of the Works of John Ruskin, London, XV, pl. 1 as being in the collection of T.F. Taylor. Probably in 1856 or 7 he copied part of this drawing to be engraved in Elements of Drawing, loc.cit.. Of this drawing Ruskin states 'the general reader ... must see that there are wandering lines mixed with the radiating ones, and radiating lines with the wild ones: and if he takes the pen and tries to copy either of these examples, he will find that neither play of hand to left nor to right, neither a free touch nor a firm touch, nor any learnable or describable touch whatsoever will enable him to produce, currently, a resemblance of it.'

We are grateful to Dr James S. Dearden for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.

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