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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Print of the Decoration on a Greek Hydria, showing Dionysus, Hermes, Hera, Zeus, Hestia and Ariadne Kaeppelin et Compagnie

  • Curator’s description:


    The lithograph shows a series of Greek deities. From left to right, they are: Dionysus wearing a vine-wreath, Hermes with his caduceus, Hera clutching a spear, Zeus holding his thunderbolt, and, according to Lenormant and de Witte, Hestia and Ariadne. It reproduces the decoration of a black-figure hydria then in the collection of the Prince of Canino. The print was plate XXII in the first volume of Lenormant and de Witte's "Elite des monuments céramographiques", published in 1844. It was presumably taken from Ruskin's copy of the work now preserved in the Ruskin Library (inventory no. 1996B2621), which is missing many of its plates.

    The print was first catalogued by Ruskin in 1871, when it appeared as no 23 F in the Educational Series, accompanying a series of plates from Lenormant and de Witte in Case II, "Elementary Illustrations of Greek Design". It remained in the same position, although renumbered as no. 44, in the 1874 catalogue of the series, but does not appear in Ruskin's 1878 reorganisation of the series.

  • Details

    Kaeppelin et Compagnie (active c. 1839 - c. 1860) (printer)
    A. Rey (active c. 1844 - c. 1858) (lithographer)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    watercolour and bodycolour over lithograph on wove paper
    163 x 238 mm (stone); 241 x 350 mm (sheet)
    All printed, just outside the border of the image:
    top right: PL.XXII.
    bottom left: Lith. de Kaeppelin et C,,ie.
    bottom right: A. Rey, sc

    Recto, top left, in ink: Juno. A 1

    towards top left, in graphite: Juno A.Z
    top right, the Ruskin School's stamp

    On a separate small paper label, in ink: 23. F

    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:


    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Smith, Elder, 1871), cat. Educational no. 23.F

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Spottiswoode, 1874), cat. Educational no. 44

    Lenormant, Charles, and Jean de Witte, Elite des monuments céramographiques: Matériaux pour l'histoire des religions et des moeurs de l'antiquité, 4 vols in 8 (Paris: Leleux, 1844-1861), vol. I, pl. XXII

    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. 44


    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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