The Elements of Drawing, John Ruskin’s teaching collection at Oxford

The Elements of Drawing, John Ruskin’s teaching collection at Oxford

Browse: 1470 objects

Reference URL


Send e-mail

Contact us about this object

Send e-mail

Send to a friend

Copy of a Painting of a Lion in the Tomb of Khnumhotep III at Beni Hasan Giuseppe Angelelli

  • Curator’s description:


    Somewhat foxed; the Ruskin Drawing School's stamp is showing through from the verso in the bottom right. A set of scribbled graphite lines along the left and top of the image, and partially and faintly down the right of the image, were presumably intended to indicate where the window-mount should be positioned.

    The print shows a painting of a lion, patterned with spots and two rosettes. The original is in the Tomb of Khnumhotep III at Beni Hasan (Porter & Moss, "Topographical Bibliography", 2nd ed, Oxford (Clarendon Press & Griffith Institute): 1960-1999, vol. IV, p. 145). The print was figure 1 of plate XXII in the second volume Rosellini's "Monumenti dell'Egitto e della Nubia", published in 1834.

    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 "Lion..., as solar power... Egyptian". It shared the frame with a print of Apollo and Phlegyon, and lions and gryphons, from a black-figure amphora, 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 the other print as two separate plates: it shows two separate bands of decoration, although they clearly share a border (XXI.89 n. 1).

    In a note in "The Ethics of the Dust", explaining how the individual aspects of the Egyptian deities were still largely unknown, Ruskin was somewhat sceptical of Rosellini's qualities: 'for the full titles and utterances of the gods, Rosellini is as yet the only - and I believe, still a very questionable - authority' (Ethics of the Dust, note III = XVIII.363). In his entry below nos 176-180 in the Reference Series, Ruskin again questioned Rosellini's accuracy, noting that the colours were sometimes conjectural, 'slight traces of the original pigments, and those changed by time, being interpreted often too arbitrarily' (Standard and Reference Series catalogue, p. 22).

  • Details

    Giuseppe Angelelli (1803 - 1849)
    Alessandro Ricci (active 1828 - 1829)
    Carlo Lasinio (1759 - 1838) (engraver)
    Object type
    Material and technique
    watercolour over engraving on wove paper
    173 x 307 mm (sheet)
    Associated place
    printed, top centre: 1
    in graphite, top towards left: underneath

    Verso, bottom left, 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

    Rosellini, Ippolito, I monumenti dell' Egitto e della Nubia: Disegnati dalla spedizione scientifico-letteraria toscana in Egitto: distributi in ordine di materie, 12 (Pisa: Presso N. Capurro, 1832-1844), pt II, Tavole, pl. XXII, fig. 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. Educational no. 158


    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

© 2013 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum