The Elements of Drawing, John Ruskin’s teaching collection at Oxford

The Elements of Drawing, John Ruskin’s teaching collection at Oxford

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Drawing of an illuminated initial 'M' and 'C' from a Manuscript of the late Twelfth or early Thirteenth Century anonymous British

  • Curator’s description:


    The initials copied in this drawing are very similar to those found in a manuscript of Walter of Châtillon's "Alexandreis" and Claudian's works, illuminated in England or France c.1200 and now in the Bodleian Library (MS Auct. F. 2. 16), and very probably originate from the same workshop, if not the same hand. They do not, however, copy any of the initials in the manuscript. The 'C' is very similar to the seven-line 'C' on folio 137 of the Bodleian manuscript, and the 'M' to the seven-line 'M's on folios 149 verso and 192 verso. (For the Bodleian manuscript, see Otto Pächt and J.J.G. Alexander, "Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford", vol. 3, "British, Irish, and Icelandic Schools, with Addenda to Volumes 1 and 2", Oxford (Clarendon Press): 1973, no. 299; and R.W. Hunt et al., "The Survival of Ancient Literature: Catalogue of an exhibition of Greek and Latin classical manuscripts, mainly from Oxford libraries ..", Oxford (Bodleian Library): 1975, no. 131.)

  • Details

    anonymous British (Anonymous (British))
    after Anonymous, Continental (Anonymous, Continental)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    bodycolour and gold paint over graphite on card
    109 x 172 mm
    Recto, in graphite:
    top centre: I. D. X.
    towards the top left: 51.
    towards the top right (within the left-hand sketched 'M'): 59

    Verso, in graphite (recent):
    top, left of centre: Assistant (? J. J. Laing) | E 206
    top right: orig. Edu 18 | & I.E. new. | in ink ['I.E. new.' underlined]
    top left, the Ruskin School's stamp

    Presented by John Ruskin to the Ruskin Drawing School (University of Oxford), 1875; transferred from the Ruskin Drawing School to the Ashmolean Museum, c.1949.

    No. of items
    Accession no.
  • Subject terms allocated by curators:


  • References in which this object is cited include:


    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Smith, Elder, 1871), cat. Educational no. IX.1.E

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Spottiswoode, 1874), cat. Educational no. 206

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of Examples Arranged for Elementary Study in the University Galleries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1870), cat. Educational no. 18

    Ruskin, John, ‘The Ruskin Art Collection at Oxford: Catalogues, Notes and Instructions’, Edward T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, eds, The Works of John Ruskin: Library Edition, 39 (London: George Allen, 1903-1912), 21, cat. Educational no. 206


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