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

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

Ruskin's revision to the Rudimentary series (1878)

Unpublished manuscript catalogue for proposed re-organisation of the Rudimentary series.

Rudimentary manu Cover

Catalogue / 4th Cabinet / 2nd Section

  • Carlo Naya (Firm) - Photograph of Giotto's Fresco of Hope (from the series of Virtues and Vices in the Arena Chapel, Padua) 89.

    This photograph begins the series illustrative of Southern Gothic; in which the student will at once recognise elements derived from the earliest Greek, and even Egyptian, schools. The Gothic form is extraneous to them, and their essential design, as here, is always in panels which are considered merely as frames for sculpture or picture. The Northern architects, who can neither paint nor carve, gradually diminished the sculpture and exaggerated the panels - until the English Perpendicular was architecture was produced, panels and nothing else.

  • R.
  • 90.
  • 91.

    A beautiful photograph of one of the most pathetic scenes in Italy, or the world - the most entirely characteristic piece of Verona. The western door of St Anastasia, here seen in front, and the tomb of the count of Castelbarco, on the left are largely illustrated in other photographs and drawings - the count’s tomb chiefly by M.r. Bunney’s beautifully finished drawing at the end of the room , and bymy unfinished sketch on the right-hand side of the West-door.

  • unidentified - Photograph of the Castelbarco Tomb, Sant' Anastasia, Verona 92.

    Sculpture of the door of St. Anastasia, on a larger scale. The stunted figures - see especially the Virgin & St. John, on each side, in the piece of the crucifixion are intensely characteristic of the Veronese school, while the softly flowing draperies - see the annunciation on the extreme left especially - are formed almost directly from the great Greek school of which I have said so much already. Compare directly here the treatment of the drapery of the central figure, the Madonna above the capital, and the lower edge of the upper robe of St. Dominic, in the centre of the shaft, with Mr. Macdonalds’ drawing in No. 57 . R. The sculptures above the two lateral pilasters are St. Anastasia, on the left, St. Catherine, on the right, holding her fleur-de-lys sceptre, as a princess, and her wheel, as a martyr. The extremely minute and almost discordant introduction of the niche above each of these figures is among the earliest occurrences of Gothic form in Verona. The pointed arches above are much later work. The conception of subject is throughout earnest and solemn in the highest degree, though restricted to the fewest possible figures. The Annunciation - in which both figures kneel, but the angel is made colossal to indicate superior power - and the adoration of the two angels opposite, at the Resurrection, are conceived in the grandest manner of Italian art; while in the bustling little group of sheep and richly foliaged thicket of the Vision to the Shep- Shepherds are anticipated the most elaborately decorative sculptures of the century. The bills pasted on the right-hand pilaster are the contribution of the xixth century to this work of art.

  • Thompson, Stephen - Photograph of the Tomb of Mastino II della Scala, Verona 93.

    The tomb of the count of Castelbarco taken R. before its restoration; very notable in preservation of the slabs of marble composing its roof, with so little decay of importance, from the xivth century.

  • Ruskin, John - Study of the North Gable of the Tomb of Mastino II della Scala, Verona remains 94.

    On the whole, the finest piece of Gothic in Verona, and the most accomplished example of Gothic tomb in the world. A portion of the moulding of the sarcophagus, admirably drawn by Mr. Burgess, is placed over the Western door of the room, and casts of its panels are at all times accessible to the students.

  • Lotze, Maurizio - Photograph of the Tombs of Mastino II della Scala and Cansignorio della Scala, Verona remains 95.

    Sketch showing the general colour of the above monument. Its red marble is slightly blanched by time and its white marble yellowed and more or less patched with black lichen - the general plan of it being, the roof of common grey limestone, the crockets, more or less worn away, of white marble, the cornice supporting the equestrian figure in red marble, as also the lateral niches, and the gable and cusps of the arch, while the two figures of Abel & Cain, the tree between them, the shield above and the panel-sculptures round the R. pointed arch are in pure white marble. I am ashamed of myself for ever having done sketches so thin & poor in tone as this, but it must be remembered that they profess to be nothing more than pencil memoranda washed with colour merely for information and not as a colour-drawing. To have painted the gable properly would have taken me at least a fortnight, and a fortnight was all I had to look at and form judgement of the architecture of all the town. Such as it is, every touch of the drawing is bestowed with care and, with the help of the photograph, will sufficiently explain the character of the monument.

  • Ruskin, John - Study of one of the Pinnacles of the Tomb of Mastino II della Scala, Verona remains 96.

    The same monument, seen from the other side, showing the equestrian statue foreshortened in its grandest position, and the more elaborate, but far less noble, tomb of Can Signorio beyond. Relieved by sharp sunlight on the gable of the earlier tomb are seen the figures of Adam and Eve. I have somewhere stated, in consequence of the mistake of a too imaginative friend, that Eve has a lamb for her footstool. It is not so, though the irregularly broken clods of earth bear a curious accidental resemblance to the form R. of a couchant lamb.

  • Ruskin, John - Sketch of one of the Pinnacles and the Statue of Saint George from the Tomb of Cansignorio della Scala, Verona remains 97.

    Details of the niches in the earlier and later tombs shown in No. 96. They are both engraved in the illustrations to The Stones of Venice. The statues have fallen from the niches of the older tomb; the sculpture in the other, of which the St. George is an average example, is of the Pisan school, but of no particular merit.

  • Ruskin, John - Study of a Capital of one of the Upper Pinnacles of the Tomb of Cansignorio della Scala, Verona remains 98.

    Finished study of the capital of one of the niches of the later tomb, in the upper story of it. It is drawn with all this care, first, to shew the lovely qualities of colour and pretty accidents of stain given to marble by age when the surface is undestroyed, and, partly, to shew the different inclination of the leaves at the angles, those toward the front of the niche being thrown forward and those at the back kept vertical - but this with so delicate a difference that any modern architect would think it the effect of accident & clumsiness. But it is a part of a great system throughout all the Veronese monuments, under which the action of the foliage, in every minor ornament, has reference to its position on the building.

  • R.
  • 99.

    A capital of St. Mark’s, placed in this part of the series as connecting the Gothic schools, of which it suggests the naturalism and vigorous undercutting, with the Greek schools, of which it retains the fluent folds of drapery, even in its treatment of foliage. The method in which the waves of these leaves follow each other is as distinctly derived from Aarchaic Greece as the disposition of their lobes is prophetic of the English dog-tooth.

  • 100.

    One of the best photographs ever taken of the columns of Acre at Venice, variously illustrated in my lectures writings, but useful here chiefly for practice in forcible architectural drawing throwing out forms in sparkling relief. The work itself, though very late in the pure Greek schools, has entirely the power of Dædalus in it, and it is impossible to dispose ornament more richly for the pleasure of the eye.

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