Art/ Collection/ Art Object

View of a Colliery at the Edge of a Town

Artist:
John Ruskin (British, London 1819–1900 Brantwood, Cumbria)
Date:
1840–49
Medium:
Watercolor over graphite on card
Dimensions:
sheet: 11 15/16 x 10 3/16 in. (30.4 x 25.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.91
Not on view
Ruskin became one of the most influential critics of the Victorian era, a close friend of J. M. W. Turner, and himself an accomplished watercolorist. From about the age of ten he carried a sketchbook with him on trips, and was particularly attracted by geological features that define landscapes. Working out of doors, the artist here describes a valley with coal mining machinery running across the middle distance in front of houses and a church, before a distant hill crowned by a castle. Colored washes apply acid green, mauve, pink, dark green and brown to distinguish key forms, with graphite alone used to describe water running over rocks, and a row of flowers in the foreground. The curling upturned ends of the lines, and overall refinement and precision are in keeping with Rusking's early work of the 1840s when his style remained close to that of his teacher James Duffield Harding.
Inscription: Inscribed "Ruskin" in graphite at lower center of recto
Sale, Swann Galleries, Inc., January 31, 2002 (sale 1923), lot 306; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
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