John Ruskin and D. G. Rossetti
June 29, 1863
Downey made this double portrait during the same session at Rossetti's house (16 Cheyne Walk) on June 29, 1863 he photographed Ruskin in Rossetti's painting chair. The photographer posed his subjects in Rossetti's garden (which Beerbohm so delightfully caricatures). Maas comments: "Rossetti's handkerchief hangs out sloppily and he stands awkwardly; and, furthermore, Downey objected to the menacing way Ruskin held his stick. He also wanted him seated. "'Sit in the presence of Rossetti? Never!' the critic replied." (Ruskin and His Circle, 24). Downey prevailed for the single photograph of Ruskin by himself.
Scanned image and text by George P. Landow
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