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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Limpets Edward Donovan

  • Curator’s description:


    One of a set of nine drawings clearly by the same hand as the drawings bound into four volumes in the collection of the Guild of Saint George, listed as "Water Colour Drawings from Nature of Invertebrate Animals. By Edward Donovan" in "A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library and Print Room of the Ruskin Museum, Sheffield. With notes and extracts from the works of Professor Ruskin", Orpington and London (George Allen): 1890, p. 17. Like the Guild's drawings, the arrangement of the animals on the page, and the presence of graphite captions for many of the animals and sheets, indicate that these drawings were intended as originals for printed illustrations, and Donovan provided drawings for many works. However, the book for which these drawings were created currently remains unidentified.

    As the unframed examples had not been given an order by Ruskin, they have been given arbitrary accession numbers based upon their position in Cook and Wedderburn's list of the unframed objects (XXI.308) for the purposes of the current catalogue.

  • Details

    Edward Donovan (1768 - 1837)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    watercolour and bodycolour on wove paper
    278 x 217 mm
    Recto, all in graphite unless otherwise stated:
    top left: Linn Sylt
    just below: 153
    top right: Pl. XI. [the 'XI' in ink]
    top centre: CONCHOLOGY | Genus Patella
    above the top left study: Patella
    below and to the right of the top left study: sagittata
    below the top right study: Patella virgata
    above the upper left study: Patella vulgata var [the 'var' underlined]
    to the left of the upper central study: P | granatina
    above and to the right of the lower left study: P. auricula
    below and to the left of the lower left study: P. vulgata
    above and to the right of lower centre study: Patella | granatina | inside
    above and to the right of lower right study: Patella anatina
    above the bottom left study: P. auricula
    to the right of the bottom right study: strigata

    Presumably presented by John Ruskin to the Ruskin Drawing School (University of Oxford); first recorded in the Ruskin Drawing School in 1906; 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, ‘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. Unframed


    • Western Art Print Room

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