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

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

Educational, manuscript (1878)

Unpublished manuscript catalogue for proposed re-organisation.

Educational 3 cover

Catalogue / Case V (Nos. 101—125)

    • Ruskin, John - Etching of Turner's Drawing of "Rietz, near Saumur" Remains 101.

      I may much better this group hereafter, but it is enough at present to explain what I mean. I wish there were another English word for my meaning, but I suppose Sentiment is now classical among us, & its use typically represented by the division of the parties respecting Thirlmere - those who wish to drink it calling themselves the practical party, and calling those who like better to look at it the sentimental party. France will perhaps some day be able to drink the Loire and rejoice in the ability. In the mean time Turner, and such other sentimental persons enjoy looking at it; and Turner with a depth of feeling which makes his Loire series the most touching, and in many respects the most precious, of all his consistently arranged groups of drawings. I etched this one for 'Modern Painters' with extreme care and it is the only etching in the book which satisfied me. I permit myself to place it here, having been permitted by Fate to place the series itself in the University Galleries.

    • E.
    • Gilpin, William - Early Morn Now 105 102.

      Dawn; coloured engraving, after Turner. The earliest example I can give of Turner's depth of feeling in look ing at landscape from youth to age. This is a plate from, I believe, the first work he ever published, and I believe also partly coloured by his own hand. It and the following example are already as pathetic in feeling as any work he ever did to the end of life.

    • Gilpin, William - Freaky Sunset 106 103.

      Sunset; coloured engraving, after Turner, from the same series, published in illustration of effect of light, numbering twenty or twenty-five Plates. This one is quite of intense moral interest, showing already all his sadness of disposition, his love of Classic Form, the ideal of the stone-pine being already here, which goes on to the days of his Childe Harold [Compare the transitional form of it throughout the Liber Studiorum ] and already it shows his perceptions of the brightest colours of sky, from painting which in youthful delight he retired to put himself under such discipline as that shown in Nos.130, 131, and to paint for at least twenty years merely in Grey and Brown.

    • E.
    • Lory, Gabriel Ludwig, and Mathias Gabriel Lory - View from Stresa of the Beautiful Island (Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore) R 104.

      View from Stresa of the Beautiful Island, done by a man of no artistic genius but of most tender feeling and faithful conscience. The scene was one of the loveliest in Italy; it is now a desert of stone-quarries, a Babylon of new inns, and a ghastly cobweb of telegraph-posts and wires. God helping me out, I will draw a picture of it as it is, to be compared.

    • Lory, Gabriel Ludwig, and Mathias Gabriel Lory - View of the Beautiful Island (Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore) 103 105.

      View of the Beautiful Island, nearer; showing the distant lines of the mountain which are now cut to pieces by stone-quarries. The Beautiful Island, Isola Bella, is the largest of the three islands given by this country to St. Carlo Borromeo, remain *ing ever since in the family. I hope some day to put Turner's drawing of it, at present in my own possesion, in this cabinet, instead of the present example.

    • Prout, Samuel - Kirkstall Abbey 111 106.

      Crypt of Kirkstall Abbey, sketched by Prout, showing Prout's narrow sentiment fastening only on the picturesqueness of ruined masonry; but admirable for practice in that respect, and infinite ly poetical and human and noble as compared with the inhuman and ignoble spirit of restora tion.

    • Turner, Joseph Mallord William - Liber studiorum - Crypt of Kirkstall Abbey 112 107.

      Crypt of Kirkstall Abbey, drawn by Turner, showing the depth of Turner's sentiment fastening, not on the physical, but the moral ruin - Lo, the sparrow hath found her &c. Here, the cattle resting in perfect peace under the sacred vaults, and the last rays of the declining day fading from them, he shows through the arch the quiet trees and river shore that we may know in what sweet places the abbey was built. It is curious that Turner slightly exaggerates the stability, as Prout, monstrously, the ruin of the vaults above; Turner wishing to express their sanctity and therefore their endurance by God's blessing.

    • Bromley, J. - Mezzotint of Turner's "Kirkstall Abbey, on the River Aire" 113 108.

      Kirkstall Abbey in the distance; engraving from one of the most exquisite of Turner's river subjects . But observe that Turner's repretitions of any subject are always continuations of his E poem upon it. The sun has set now, the ruin is seen in the distance against the twilight, and Maid Mary is calling the cattle home. I cannot imagine that the fragment of the tower projects in reality to such an extent. It never caught my eye till my friend noticed it, but observe what a curious illustration it is of what I was just saying of Turner's mind being set on the stability of the grand old masonry.

    • Ruskin, John - Sunrise on Etna W.S.(2) 42 109.

      Ætna, at day-break, half past five o'clock on an April morning. The white vapour is not smoke but pure steam. I hope to better the sketch, but the solemnity of the scene itself justifies me, I think, in placing it here, for I never, until I saw it, had myself any conception of the purity of the stream of volcanic cloud, nor of the way it became heavenly cloud at last in peace. The height of the pillar above the crater is about 2000 feet, and its breadth about a quarter of a mile.

    • W.S(.2) 45 110.

      Ætna, in twilight; the volcanic vapour chang ing partly into cumulus partly into cirrus cloud. E I made both these sketches from Taormina in 1874.

    • 111.

      The upper subject in this frame was one of one of the most solemn things I ever saw in the Alps; the morn-lighted clouds followed the outline of the Aiguilles with a drifting halo. It was daubed in on the instant with one candle so that I might see out of the window clearly and not touched afterwards. I have no time now to say why I want to keep so slight a thing; nor that below it, except as a companion to the one following.

    • Ruskin, John - Mont Blanc from Saint-Martin-sur-Arve 288 112.

      Mont Blanc, from St. Martin's; sketch made in 1874 from the Hotel de Mont Blanc at St. Martin's. I think it one of the best sketches I ever made of the thing I have loved best. I place it here for various reasons not just now to be told.

    • Ruskin, John - Drawing of Turner's "Hospice of the Great Saint Bernard" Now 110 113.

      My own copy of Turner's vignette of the Great St. Bernard , done absolutely as well as I could; which cannot be said of one in a hundred of my drawings. It is interesting as an exercise, because the accidents E. of Turner's rapid wash are all fac-similied by laborious stippling. The original drawing, I grieve to say, is now in America. It is quite one of the first pieces if Turner's central time. Of its sentiment I think I need not speak.

    • R 114.

      This group will consist, when it is completed, of illustrations of what German and Swiss life were in their happiest associations with landscape about the beginning of this Century. The pen-drawing in the upper subject is very good in the foliage, but I could not express what I wanted in the rock wall and rocks and so gave in.

      I leave the remainder of the pieces in this group without further comment at present.

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