'St Luke', Study of Mosaic, North Side of Choir, San Vitale, Ravenna, ItalyArtist:
, British, 1852 - 1917
Material and Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 567 x 315 x 20mm
Sight size: 346 x 315mm
Accession Number: CGSG00085
This design comes from a 1500 year old mosaic scheme which fills a large part of San Vitale. John Ruskin sent Randal to Ravenna to make records of the mosaics prior to any restoration that could change their appearance. He asked Randal to assist TM Rooke who was already in Ravenna. Rooke had previously painted many ancient mosaics in San Marco, Venice could therefore teach Randal the techniques.
Although the mosaics weren’t actually in danger at this time, Ruskin also felt that they needed to better known. He planned to use the studies in a book called 'Our Fathers have told Us', which was to comprise 'sketches of the history of Christendom.' Though he never finished the book, he had planned for Ravenna to feature in the second chapter through a history of Theodoric, a 6th century king who built churches in the city and whose portrait also features in San Vitale’s mosaics.