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

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

Ruskin's Standard & Reference series (1872)

Exemplary works of art. In the catalogue of the Reference series, items marked 'M' are drawings "by my own Hand" (by Ruskin), P are photographs, E engravings and A by Ruskin's Assistant, Arthur Burgess.

Standard & Reference Cover

Ruskin's Catalogues: 1 object

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Ruskin assembled a diverse collection of artworks for his drawing school in Oxford, including watercolours by J.M.W. Turner and drawings by Ruskin himself.  He taught students to draw as a way of educating them in how to look at art and the world around them.  

Ruskin divided his Teaching Collection into four main series: Standard, Reference, Educational and Rudimentary. Each item was placed in a numbered frame, arranged in a set of cabinets, so that they all had a specific position in the Collection (although Ruskin often moved items about as his ideas changed). 

When incorporated into the Ashmolean’s collection in the last century, the works were removed from the frames and the sequence was lost.  Here, Ruskin's original catalogues, notes and instructions - in his chosen order and in his own words - are united with images of the works and links to modern curatorial descriptions.

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Photograph of the Pier on the north Side of the central western Porch of Chartres Cathedral

  • Ruskin text

    55 Pier on the north side of the central Western Porch of the Cathedral of Chartres . Compare No. 54 P
  • Details

    Object type
    photograph
    Material and technique
    albumen print
    Dimensions
    446 x 339 mm (print); 456 x 346 mm (mount)
    Associated place
    Inscription
    Recto, bottom left, stamped in red ink, a monogram: FBF [the first 'F' reversed; the whole enclosed in a dotted circular dotted line]

    On the back of the mount:
    towards bottom right, in graphite: Ref 55.
    just below, in graphite: G
    towards bottom 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.REF.055
  • 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. Reference no. 55

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Reference Series Including Temporarily the First Section of the Standard Series (London: Smith, Elder, [1872]), cat. Reference no. 55

Location

    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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