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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Four Studies of Gooseberry-blossom John Ruskin

  • Details

    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    pen and ink over graphite, one diagram obscured with white bodycolour, on lined blue laid paper with a Britannia watermark
    197 x 160 mm
    Recto, all in ink (Ruskin) save where indicated:
    top left: [...] [all crossed out] | Gooseberry
    each diagram identified with a letter, on the left, top to bottom, 'a', 'b' and 'c'; on the right, 'a2'
    just above the upper image, in graphite: 1
    in the bottom right corner of the sheet: The five stamens rise, one from | the centre of each of the five | leaves of the calyx: and in | section as at c. seen from | above. b. | a. and a2. the two lateral | views. a magnified. a2 and b | real size

    Verso, all in ink (Ruskin):
    written across the top: In primrose. | The Stamens for the most part rise to | the top and close over the style
    written across the greater part of the sheet, from just below the previous inscription, surrounded at top, bottom and left by a single line: (Calyx. continued.) ['Calyx' underlined] It is really the | enclosure of budding flower. The | cauliflower most beautiful. purple ['purple' underlined] bed [?] | expands slowly a little while. then - out | bursts a golden 4foil. The calyx | first purple - turned green - and then | orange, in dying. Calyx and corolla | fall off together. & leave a pod. | The buttercup is on the same principle | but its calyx withers into a ['a' struck through] white rags | and falls before the corolla + [a line runs from the '+' to the one below] | In Lilac. calyx so subordinate to flower | that I cant [?] find the flower quite | shut up in it. + Oppose dropping | corolla of the Vine
    just below, enclosed with a single curved line below: Calyx not permanent
    top, towards right: No page 353. / This faces 352
    just to the right: 354
    bottom right: now p. 356

    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:


    Taylor, Gerald, ‘John Ruskin: A Catalogue of Drawings by John Ruskin in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford’, 7 fascicles, 1998, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, no. 070.i

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Smith, Elder, 1871), cat. Educational no. 11.C

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Spottiswoode, 1874), 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. 18


    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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