Ruskin's first catalogue with notes containing his plans for the Standard, Reference and Educational series.
The examples now placed in the University Galleries form the nucleus of what it is intended should become ultimately three distinctly complete series. The first is to be composed of types of various art, the best that I can obtain, as standards of method or school. It is to be called the Standard Series; referred to in the Lectures as S. 1, S. 2, &c., and composed of, ultimately, four hundred pieces: 1 to 100 illustrating the schools of painting in general; 101 to 200, those of sculpture and its relative arts connected with the traditions and religion of the Gothic races; 201 to 300, those of sculpture and its relative arts connected with the traditions and religion of the Greeks; and 301 to 400, the special skill of modern time.
The reason for the adoption of this order is that the art of painting furnishes examples of every meritorious quality possible in form or colour: the earlier arts of sculpture and building may then be advantageously studied with reference to these ultimate results; and our own skill finally estimated by comparison with whatever it haschosen to imitate, and measure of whatever it has been able to invent.
The second series is for immediate service, and composed partly of exercises to be copied; partly of examples for reference with respect to practical questions. It is to be called the Educational Series, and referred to in the Lectures as Edu. 1, Edu. 2, &c. I may extend this series indefinitely for some time.
The third series consists of examples, not standard, but having qualities worthy of notice and necessary for illustration. It is to be called the Reference Series, and will be of quite mixed character, as supplementary to the two others, and referred to in the Lectures as Ref. 1, Ref. 2, &c.
About 200 pieces in all, belonging to these three groups, are already placed in the Galleries, and will be found enough for introductory study.