Study of a Peacock's Breast Feather

John Ruskin


Watercolour on paper

Mount: 420 x 297mm Support: 289 x 198 mm

© Collection of the Guild of St George / Museums Sheffield

Accession number: CGSG00046

Currently on show at Two Temple Place, London, at the "John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing" exhibition, which kindly supplied this image for the purpose of reviewing it.

This tiny close study manages to show a range of textures and colours, with the merged lines of the loose fluffy brown under-feathers at the base of the quill giving way to a perfectly symmetrical fan shape, of iridescent turquoise and sky-blue feather-filaments. These taper almost to transparency. [Commentary continues below.]

Caption material from the Museums Sheffield website; text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the image to enlarge it, and mouse over the text for links.]