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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Saint Thomas Albrecht Dürer

  • Curator’s description:


    The apostle Saint Thomas stands holding a book and the spear with which he was martyred. The engraving is part of an incomplete series of the Apostles on which Dürer worked intermittently from 1514 to 1526.

    Although this print was never named explicitly by Ruskin, it is identified through its presence in the collection, Ruskin's description of its frame containing 'Saints, Nuremberg in the distance', and Cook and Wedderburn's note that the frame contained works dated 1514 (this one), 1519 (the "Saint Anthony") and 1523 (the "Saint Bartholomew") (XXI.81, n. 4). The frame of Dürer saints was first catalogued by Ruskin in the first Educational Series catalogue of 1871, where, as no. 33 B, it accompanied other Dürers and Holbeins in Case III, "Illustrations of Northern Gothic, with its resultant Art". In the second Educational catalogue, of 1874, it occupied the same position - although renumbered as 75 - but many of the Dürers had been replaced by Burne-Jones's "Cupid and Psyche" drawings.

  • Details

    Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528) (engraver)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    engraving on laid paper
    118 x 76 mm (sheet); 195 x 129 mm (mount)
    In the print, engraved, bottom left: 1514 | AD [the 'AD' in Dürer's characteristic monogram]

    On the mount:
    Recto, bottom centre, in graphite (recent): B 48 St. Thomas | H. 50

    Verso, all in graphite and recent:
    top, left of centre: 33.b
    just below and to the left: Ed. 75
    centre, 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:


    Schoch, Rainer, Mende, Matthias, and Scherbaum, Anna, Albrecht Dürer: das druckgraphische Werk, 3 (Munich/London/New York: Prestel, 2001-2004), no. 75

    Meder, Josef, Dürer-Katalog, ein handbuch über Albrecht Dürers stiche, radierungen, Holzschnitte, deren zustände, ausgaben und wasserzeichen (Wien: Gilhofer & Ranschburg, 1932), no. 50

    Bartsch, Adam von, Le Peintre Graveur, 21 vols (Vienna: J. von Degen, 1803-1821), cat. vol. VII, p. 66, no. 48

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Smith, Elder, 1871), cat. Educational no. 33.B

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Spottiswoode, 1874), cat. Educational no. 75

    Hollstein, F. W. H., German Engravings Etchings and Woodcuts, ca. 1400 - 1700 (Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger, 1954-), cat. vol. VII, p. 41, no. 50

    Bartsch, Adam von, The Illustrated Bartsch, founding editor Walter L. Strauss, general editor John T. Spike (New York: Abaris Books, 1978-), no. 1001.48

    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. 75


    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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