St. Wulfran, Abbeville, Seen from the River by John Ruskin. 1868. Graphite, ink, watercolour. and bodycolour on white paper, 34.3 x 50.2 cm. Collection: Ruskin Foundation (RF 1100), Ruskin Library, Lancaster University. ©Ruskin Foundation. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Christopher Newall points out that that, “was the most finished and ambitious of several large drawings of the collegiate church of St. Wulfran that Ruskin made during a stay in Abbeville from 25 August to 21 October 1868,” represents St. Wulfran's “at a time of day when there was no direct sunlight upon it, so that all the colours of the stone from which it was made, and the tiles of its roof, are suffused into a soft and muted range of warm greys and mauves” (184) As early as 1848, Ruskin found himself appalled by the destruction to the buildings of Abbeville and had contemplated writing a book about it parallel to The Stones for Venice. See Newall for a discussion of the work in the context of Ruskin's personal life, particularly his health and relation to Rose La Touche.

References

Newall, Christopher (with contributions by Christopher Baker, Conal Shields, and Ian Jeffrey. John Ruskin Artist and Observer. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada; London Paul Holberton Publishing, 2014. No. 53. [Review in the Victorian Web]

Ruskin, John. Works, "The Library Edition." eds. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. 39 vols. London: George Allen, 1903-1912.


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Last modified 28 February 2014