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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Engraving of Titian's "Virgin and Child with Saints Andrew and Tiziano" Valentin Lefebvre

  • Curator’s description:

    Description

    The Virgin cradles the infant Christ on a cushion in her lap as he suckles at her breast. Saint Andrew, carrying his cross over his shoulder, watches from the left; Saint Tiziano, wearing bishop's robes, gazes at Christ from the right, whilst Titian watches from behind him, holding the saint's crozier.

    Identified by Cook & Wedderburn as 'Lefèbre's engraving of the picture at Cadore', the print reproduces the painting in the parish church at Pieve di Cadore, Titian's birthplace; the engraving has reversed the composition from left to right. Wethey notes that, although the composition is Titian's, the execution is too weak, and must have been almost entirely by the workshop, c.1560.

    The engraving was catalogued in 1870, and again in 1872, as no. 23 in the Standard Series. However, it can no longer be found within the Teaching Collection, and is illustrated here with an impression from the Hope Collection in the Ashmolean Museum.

    In "Modern Painters" (Vol. V, pt viii, ch. ii, § 12 = VII.224), Ruskin noted that a complete set of Lefebvre's engravings after Titian and Veronese (i.e. "Opera Selectiora quæ Titianus Vecellius Cadvbriensis et Paulus Calliari Veronensis, inventarunt ac pinxerunt quæ que Velentinus Le Febre, Bruxellensis, delineavit et sculpsit", 1682) could teach the student everything that could be taught about composition. The key works for his discussion included this print, as well as Lefebvre's copies after the Pesaro Madonna (Refernce Series, no. 106) and Veronese's "Triumph of Venice".

  • Details

    Artist/maker
    Valentin Lefebvre (c. 1641 - c. 1680) (artist, engraver)
    after a work attributed to Titian (c. 1485/90 - 1576)
    Object type
    print
    Material and technique
    engraving on laid paper
    Dimensions
    [238 x 337 mm (plate)]
    Associated people
    J. van Campen (publisher)
    Inscription
    Recto, all within the engraving:
    on the centre of the riser of the bottom step: TITIANVS.IN.P. (the I's dotted, and the N's reversed)
    on the ground, bottom left: V.lefebre del. et sculps.
    on the ground, right of centre: J.Van Campen Formis Venetÿs.
    Provenance

    Presented by John Ruskin to the Ruskin Drawing School (University of Oxford), 1875; not recorded in the Drawing School after 1906.

    No. of items
    1
    Accession no.
    STD.023
  • Subject terms allocated by curators:

    Subjects

  • References in which this object is cited include:

    References

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Reference Series Including Temporarily the First Section of the Standard Series (London: Smith, Elder, [1872]), cat. Standard no. 23

    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. Standard no. 23

    Ruskin, John, ‘Modern Painters’, Edward T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, eds, The Works of John Ruskin: Library Edition, 39 (London: George Allen, 1903-1912), 3-7

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of Examples Arranged for Elementary Study in the University Galleries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1870), cat. Standard no. 23

Location

    • not found

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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