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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Entrance to the Chapel of St. Michel d'Aiguilhe, Le Puy Frank Randal

  • Curator’s description:


    The drawing shows the romanesque entrance to the tenth-century chapel of Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe at Le Puy. The facade is decorated with inlaid coloured stones in geometric patterns, and various sculptures. At the top, Christ is accompanied by four saints, each shown half-length in their own arched niche. In the top lobe of the trefoil-headed tympanum is the Lamb of the Resurrection, whilst two mermaids are carved in relief on the lintel. Various plants grow in pots on the stairs up to the doorway.

    Cook and Wedderburn date the drawing to September or October 1883; this is certainly supported by Randal's tracing of the drawing, made for his own records but now preserved in the collection of the Guild of Saint George (R.2139.a; see Morley, Appendix, pp. 158 & 172), which is inscribed 'Doorway of S. Michele. Le Puy. drawing sent to Mr. Ruskin. Dec. 1883'.

    This section of the Reference Series was left blank in Ruskin's catalogues, and the drawing is first recorded by Cook and Wedderburn in their catalogue of the series in 1906.

    Ruskin visited the convent at Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe Puy with his parents in 1840, when the nun who showed them around, unused to Protestant visitors, quizzed them on their beliefs and morals (Praeterita, Vol. III, § 4 = XXXV.477-478).

  • Details

    Frank Randal (1852 - 1917)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    watercolour on paper
    384 x 264 mm
    Associated place
    Recto, in the right border, bottom, in graphite, running up the sheet: A 4

    On the mount, verso, top centre, in graphite (recent): RANDAL REF. 149

    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. Reference no. 149


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