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 Black-Figure Amphora, showing Apollo pursuing Phlegyon P. Bineteau

  • Curator’s description:


    According to Lenormant and de Witte, the print shows two bands of decoration from one side of a black-figure amphora which was in the collection of the Duc de Luynes. In the top band, Apollo stands in a chariot on the left, accompanied by a gryphon and a hound below the winged horses' feet; he aims an arrow at Phlegyon, fleeing before him, who is accompanied by an unidentified woman. In the lower band are two gryphons and two lions. The print was plate LIX in the second volume of Lenormant and de Witte's "Elite des monuments céramographiques", published in 1857.

    The print was first catalogued by Ruskin in 1871, when he listed it in frame no. 108 in the first Educational Series catalogue, calling it "Lions and Gryphons, as solar powers. Greek". It shared the frame with a print of an Egyptian lion, and was placed in Case VII, "Elementary Zoology. Lions.-Birds.-Serpents". It remained in the same position in the 1874 catalogue of the series (albeit renumbered as no. 158), but was not mentioned in Ruskin's 1878 reorganisation of the series. Cook and Wedderburn's description of the frame as containing 'Three coloured plates' presumably treated this print as two separate plates, although they clearly share a border (XXI.89 n. 1).

    It seems that Ruskin intended to discuss the gryphon in the lectures that were to continue the series on the elementary principles of sculpture, delivered in November and December 1870, although his notes only indicate that he planned to improvise at this point. (The Eagle of Elis, § 4 = XX.399).

  • Details

    P. Bineteau (active c. 1857 - c. 1858) (printer)
    A. Rey (active c. 1844 - c. 1858) (lithographer)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    watercolour over lithograph on wove paper
    182 mm high (stone); 249 x 294 mm (sheet)
    Recto, printed just outside the border (the missing words supplied from another copy of the print):
    top left: [T. II.]
    top right: PL. LIX.
    bottom left: [Lith. de Binete]au
    bottom right: A. Rey. sc.
    written, top left, in ink: Apollo archer. A 1.

    top left corner, struck through: 59
    bottom left corner: E158
    bottom right corner, the Ruskin School's stamp

    On a separate piece of paper, framed with the print:
    top, in ink: 108. put 108 into 109. 109. into 110. and take 110 for lower school [the first '108.' struck through in graphite]
    bottom left, in graphite: 1/58

    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. 108

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Spottiswoode, 1874), cat. Educational no. 158

    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. II, pl. LIX

    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. 158


    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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