John Ruskin, H.R.W.S. (1819-1900)
Property from the Collection of the late Sir Colin and Lady Anderson Lots 51-53
John Ruskin, H.R.W.S. (1819-1900)

A Dalmatian Pelican

John Ruskin, H.R.W.S. (1819-1900)
A Dalmatian Pelican
inscribed 'Pelecanus Crispus' (lower right)
pencil heightened with white on blue paper
7 x 10 in. (17.8 x 25.4 cm.)
Mr and Mrs Arthur Severn, Brantwood.
with The Maas Gallery, London, where purchased by Sir Colin and Lady Anderson and by descent to the present owner.
E.T. Cook and A. Wedderburn (eds.), Works of John Ruskin (Library Edition), 1912, vol. 38, p. 273, no. 1281, as 'Head of Pelican (Pelecanus Crispus)', reproduced, vol. 25, Love's Meinie and Proserpina, 1906, pl. IV as 'Pelecanus Crispus'.
The Spectator, 25 October 1919, p. 17.
London, Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colours, Ruskin Exhibition, 1901, no. 60 as 'Pelican's Head and Skull [two drawings]'. Manchester, Manchester City Art Gallery, Ruskin Exhibition, 1904, no. 413 as 'Pelican's Head and Skull [two drawings]' .
London, The Fine Art Society, Ruskin Exhibition, 1907, no. 119 as 'Pelican's Head and Skull [two drawings]' .
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Ruskin Centenary Exhibition, 1919, no. 31 as 'Head and skull of Pelican'.
London, The Maas Gallery, Pre-Raphaelites and Contemporaries, 1961, no. 83.

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Brandon Lindberg
Brandon Lindberg

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Lot Essay

The present drawing is associated, and was probably mounted, with a study of a Pelican's skull. In his Introduction to vol. 25 (p. liii), Cook refers to the present drawing as “one of a large number of [studies of] different birds which Ruskin made from life at the Zoological Gardens.” Ruskin is known to have worked on natural history studies from 1870 onwards, but it is difficult to date this drawing precisely.

We are grateful to Professor Stephen Wildman for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.

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