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

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

Browse: 1470 objects

Reference URL


Send e-mail

Contact us about this object

Send e-mail

Send to a friend

Ladybirds 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 222 mm
    Recto, all in graphite unless otherwise stated:
    top left: Linn. Syst. nat.
    just below: 105.
    top right, in ink: Pl. XIII
    top centre: ENTOMOLOGY | Genus coccin[...]
    top, right of centre: Coleoptera
    the individual insects are each labelled, as follows:

    top row of four insects:
    left: Coccinella 12-punctata | mag.
    centre left: Coccinella | 16 guttata | mag.
    centre right: Coccinella 12-punctata
    right, on a broad blade of grass: Cocinella 16-guttata

    next row of three, tiny, insects:
    left: Coccinella parvula
    centre, on a grass stem: coccinella 22 punctata
    right, of a blade of grass: Coccinella analis

    just below, a line of three magnified insects:
    left: Coccinella parvula | mag.
    centre, its wings spread: Coccinella 22 punctata | mag.
    right: Coccinella analis | mag.

    below, another line of three magnified insects:
    left: Coccinella bis[...] pustulata | mag. [the 'bis[...]' encircled, a '4' written below the circle]
    centre: Coccinella frontalis | mag.
    right: Coccinella oblongo-quillata | mag.

    just below, a line of three tiny insects:
    left: Coccinella bis[...] pustulata [the 'bis[...]' enclosed in a square, a '4' written above the square]
    centre: Coccinella frontalis
    right: Coccinella oblongo | quillata

    at the bottom, a line of six insects:
    left, wings spread: Coccinella 6-pustulata
    above and to the right: Coccinella 12-[...] [the illegible section crossed out and replaced with 'pustulata' in a different hand]
    just left of centre: Coccinella punctata
    centre: Coccinella[...]punctata | mag
    right of centre: Coccinella septem-notata | mag.
    right: Coccinella septem-notata

    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

© 2013 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum