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

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

Ruskin's Rudimentary series, 5th ed. (1873)

Items marked 'M' are drawings "by my own Hand" (by Ruskin), P are photographs, E engravings and A by Ruskin's Assistant, Arthur Burgess.

Rudimentary 5 Cover

Catalogue of the Rudimentary series

THIS Series is arranged in twelve cabinets, containing 25 examples each. These cabinets are placed in succession, six on the east, six on the west side of the room, so that the first and twelfth are opposite. The exercises most frequently required are placed in the first and twelfth, so that they may be quickly found, and quickly replaced; and I beg my pupils very earnestly to put back their copy always into its place, even if they have had little time for work. The consistent habit of putting everything in order at the beginning, and in place at the end of work, gives a tone to the temper, all through, of more value than any one could imagine who had not tried.

The twelve cabinets contain the following sequence of subjects:

  1. Heraldry.
  2. Heraldry.
  3. Greek and Mediæval design, for comparison.
  4. Gothic design.
  5. Revived classical design.
  6. Landscape.
  7. Landscape.
  8. Birds.
  9. Birds.
  10. Grasses and foreground plants.
  11. Larger foreground plants and tree-foliage.
  12. Exercises in tree-drawing.

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