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

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

Ruskin's Educational series, 1st ed. (1871)

Ruskin's first catalogue of 300 works for the instruction of undergraduates and his notes on the use of particular examples.

Educational 1 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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The Castle of the Baron of Zurlauben Alexis Nicolas Perignon, I

  • Ruskin text

    67 Bridge at the Pfaffensprung, St. Gothard . Old print. E
  • Details

    Artist/maker
    Alexis Nicolas Perignon, I (1726 - 1782) (designer)
    François Denis Née (1732 - 1817) (engraver)
    Object type
    print
    Material and technique
    engraving on laid paper
    Dimensions
    187 x 252 mm (upper plate); 18 x 250 mm (lower plate); 454 x 300 mm (sheet)
    Associated place
    Inscription
    Recto, all engraved:

    below the upper image:
    left: Dessiné par Perignon, Ptre du Roi.
    right: Gravé par Née.
    centre: IERE. VUE DU CHATEAU DE MR. LE BARON DE ZUR-LAUBEN. | Marechal de Caml des Armées du Roi, et Capitaine au regiment des Gardes Suisses. | En sortant de la Ville de Zug. | A.P.D.R.
    bottom right: No. 111.

    below the lower image:
    left: Dessiné par Perignon, Ptre. du Roi.
    right: Gravé par Née.
    centre: IIME VUE DU CHATEAU DE MR. LE BARON DE ZUR-LAUBEN. | En face du lac de Zug, et du Mont Pilate de Lucerne. | A.P.D.R.
    bottom right: No. 111.

    Verso, bottom left, the Ruskin School's stamp

    On a separate small paper label, in graphite: 99
    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.ED.118
  • Subject terms allocated by curators:

    Subjects

  • References in which this object is cited include:

    References

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Smith, Elder, 1871), cat. Educational no. 66

    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. Educational no. 118

    Ruskin, John, Catalogue of the Educational Series (London: Spottiswoode, 1874), cat. Educational no. 118

Location

    • Western Art Print Room

Position in Ruskin’s Collection

Ruskin's Catalogues

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