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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Drawing of the Inscription over the Door of the Badia of San Domenico, Fiesole John Ruskin

  • Details

    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    pen and ink over graphite on wove paper, with corrections in bodycolour
    182 x 275 mm
    Associated place
    Recto, all below the image:
    right, in ink: J. Ruskin | 1874
    the full width of the image, in ink: Inscription on two blocks of adjusted marble, over door of Badia. Fiesole. The - in omnia conjectural A [without a cross-bar] in Adversus is right.
    written just above this, in graphite painted out with bodycolour: The A in adversum no cross strok[e]

    Bottom right, in graphite (recent): R. 13

    Verso, bottom left, the Ruskin School's stamp

    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, ‘Rudimentary Series 1878’, 1878, Oxford, Oxford University Archives, cat. Rudimentary no. 1

    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. Rudimentary no. 13bis

    Taylor, Gerald, ‘John Ruskin: A Catalogue of Drawings by John Ruskin in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford’, 7 fascicles, 1998, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, no. 297


    • Western Art Print Room

Ruskin's Catalogues

  • Ruskin's revision to the Rudimentary series (1878)


    Inscription over the door of Badia, Fiesole. A fitting introduction to our work under the Laws of Fiesole. I am not sure of its date but presume by the rudeness of the birds introduced on the right hand that it can scarcely be later than the xth century. I am sorry that this is drawn all obliquely and imperfectly: in which respect, however, it is a true type of the best I have been able to do in all things. But if I had begun ruling lines I should have been continually impeded in copying the letters by the necessity of their coming into a certain place; whereas now, I think, each is very nearly a fac-simile of the real one; and in this respect also the drawing represents all my work - that in essential points it is useful and in its failures frank. The inscription records the principal laws of Heaven enforced by the early church of Florence. Whatsoever things praying ye seek, believe that ye shall have them and they shall come forth to you. When ye stand to pray, remit if ye have anything against any one.

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