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 Catalogue of the Reference Series / 5th to 6th Cabinet

    • unidentified - Photograph of Filippo Lippi's "Coronation of the Virgin" ("The Maringhi Coronation") 101 The Crowning of the Virgin. (Filippo Lippi: the picture is in the Academia of Florence ) P
    • unidentified - Photograph of Bernardino Luini's "Adoration of Magi" in the Louvre 102 Adoration of Magi. (Bernardino Luini) from fresco in Louvre P
    • Desnoyers, Auguste Gaspard Louis - La Belle Jardinière 103 La Belle Jardinière. (Raphael) E
    • Keller, Josef - Engraving of Ernst Deger's "Virgin as Queen of Heaven" 104 Modern German derivative art E
    • 105 Madonna with five Saints (Titian), engraved by Le Febre from the picture in the Vatican E
    • Lefebvre, Valentin - Engraving of Titian's "Pesaro Madonna" 106 Madonna with Pesaro family (Titian). The picture is in the Church of the Frari, Venice E

    You may learn more of Titian’s true powers from Le Febre’s engravings than from any finer ones. These are masterly as far as they are carried, and show perfect intelligence of the qualities of Titian which are expressible by engraving. His sturdiness, his homely dignity, incapable of any morbid tremor, falsehood, or self-consciousness; his entirely human, yet majestic ideal; his utter, easy, unreproveable masterhood of his business, (everything being done so rightly that you can hardly feel that it is done strongly); and his rich breadth of masses, obtained by multitudinous divisions perfectly composed. The balanced arrangement in the first example (105) is palpable enough; in the second it is more subtle, being oblique; the figures are arranged in a pyramid, with curved sides, of which the apex is the head of the Madonna. The St. Peter balances the St. Francis, and the line of the axis of the group is given by one of his keys lying aslope on the steps.

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