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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Engraving of van Dyck's Portrait of Prince Francesco Tommaso di Savoia-Carignano on horseback L. Metalli

  • Curator’s description:

    Description

    Prince Francesco Tommaso di Savoia-Carignano sits on a large white horse, holding his horse's reins and a baton. Behind him, a large piece of drapery partially obscures a pier of banded masonry and the base and part of the shaft of a smooth column.

    Cook and Wedderburn (XXI.26 n. 2 and IX.358 n. 1) identify the painting as Van Dyck's portrait of Prince Tommaso di Savoia-Carignano, painted from April 1634 to January 1635 and now in the Galleria Sabauda in Turin.

    The print first appears in the Teaching Collection in 1870, when Ruskin listed it as no. 41 in the "Catalogue of Examples", a position it retained in the 1872 catalogue of the series.

    In the "Catalogue of Examples" (p. 20), Ruskin described the print as 'ill-engraved', although he considered the painting one of Van Dyck's best equestrian portraits. It was part of a sequence of pictures by painters - all portrait-painters - who applied paint broadly, using the edges of the painted areas to denote outlines, rather than drawing them in with the point of the brush.

    In a long footnote to "Modern Painters" (vol. V, pt ix, ch. 7, § 23 n. = VII.358-361 n.), Ruskin reproduced an entry from his diary made in 1858, contrasting this painting with Vernet's "Equestrian Portrait of Charles Albert, King of Sardinia", which was then hanging opposite it; he considered the Vernet an epitome of vulgarity, a poorly-painted depiction of an ignoble figure, poorly-dressed; the Van Dyck, in contrast, epitomised nobility, and was also much better painted.

  • Details

    Artist/maker
    C. Ferreri (engraver)
    after Anthony van Dyck (1599 - 1641)
    Object type
    print
    Material and technique
    engraving on paper
    Dimensions
    299 x 235 mm (sheet)
    Inscription
    All engraved in cursive script, just below the bottom border of the image:
    left: Ant. Vandyck dip.
    centre: L. Metalli dis.
    right: Prof. C. Ferreri dis. et inc. [dis. et have been struck through with two horizontal lines]
    Provenance

    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
    1
    Accession no.
    WA.RS.STD.041
  • Subject terms allocated by curators:

    Subjects

  • References in which this object is cited include:

    References

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of Examples Arranged for Elementary Study in the University Galleries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1870), cat. Standard no. 41

    Ruskin, John, ‘Lectures on Art: Delivered Before the University of Oxford in Hilary Term, 1870’, Edward T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, eds, The Works of John Ruskin: Library Edition, 39 (London: George Allen, 1903-1912), 20

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Reference Series Including Temporarily the First Section of the Standard Series (London: Smith, Elder, [1872]), cat. Standard no. 41

    Ruskin, John, ‘The Works of John Ruskin’, Edward T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, eds, The Works of John Ruskin: Library Edition, 39 (London: George Allen, 1903-1912)

    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. Standard no. 41

    Ruskin, John, ‘Modern Painters’, Edward T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, eds, The Works of John Ruskin: Library Edition, 39 (London: George Allen, 1903-1912), 3-7

Location

    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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