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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Photograph of a copy after Van Dyck's "Portrait of James, Duke of York" Anonymous

  • Curator’s description:

    Description

    The young James, Duke of York ,stands holding an apple or some other round fruit in both hands. His hair covered by a tight cap, he wears a heavy dress.

    Although described by Cook and Wedderburn (XXI.26 n. 3) as 'a photograph of the Princess Elizabeth from Vandyck's picture of the "Children of Charles I." at Turin', the photograph seems to show an independent portrait of James, Duke of York, copied very closely from the painting in the Galleria Sabauda (no. 264) of the three eldest children of Charles I. Whether the copy is in fact by the 'Dominique [i.e. Domenico?] Cerruti' whose name has been inscribed on the frame - and who does not seem to be identifiable - is unclear.

    The print was first listed in the Teaching Collection in 1870, when it was included in the "Catalogue of Examples" as the lower picture in frame 42 of the Reference Series, placed below an engraving of Titian's portrait of Clarissa Strozzi. Both pictures retained their position in the 1872 catalogue of the series. The photograph formed 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 (Catalogue of Examples, p. 19). In "Modern Painters" (vol. V, pt vi, ch. 10, § 5 = VII.118), Ruskin praised the subtlety with which Van Dyck had coloured the rose-bush in the background so as not to compete with the flesh-tones, a theme he wrote on at greater length in the notes he made in 1858 on works in the Royal Gallery at Turin, and which led him to ponder the ability of great artists to break the common rules.

  • Details

    Artist/maker
    Anonymous (photographer)
    after Anthony van Dyck (1599 - 1641)
    Object type
    photograph
    Material and technique
    albumen print
    Dimensions
    236 x 166 cm; 277 x 245 mm (original mount)
    Inscription
    Recto, on the mount, bottom right, in ink: Dominique Cerruti peintre

    Verso, on the mount:
    bottom right, in graphite: St 42 lower
    centre, the Ruskin School's stamp
    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.042.b
  • Subject terms allocated by curators:

    Subjects

  • References in which this object is cited include:

    References

    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. 42

    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, Catalogue of the Reference Series Including Temporarily the First Section of the Standard Series (London: Smith, Elder, [1872]), cat. Standard no. 42

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of Examples Arranged for Elementary Study in the University Galleries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1870), cat. Standard no. 42

    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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