'Traceries and Mouldings from Rouen and Salisbury', Sketch towards 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture'Artist:
, British, 1819 - 1900
Material and Medium: pencil on paper
Dimensions: Sight size: 223 x 140mm
Overall: 339 x 221mm
Mount: 339 x 280mm
Accession Number: CGSG00014
'The Seven Lamps of Architecture' is a book written and illustrated by Ruskin. It was first published in 1849 as his first major work on architecture. In it, he writes of the emotional and moral power of buildings and the principles and development of good design.
This study is for Plate 10 in the book. The first four figures or diagrams show Rouen Cathedral’s north door and the detail of its decorative mouldings. Ruskin wrote admiringly about the carved stonework, saying that the architect was interested not only in the shape of the opening, but also in the form, shadows and contours of the stone surrounding it. He felt the design captured the essence of the Gothic style and 'unites fantasy and [architectural] law'.
The last diagram shows the decoration from Salisbury Cathedral. Ruskin described it as 'piquant and spirited' but felt it lacks the 'nobility' of the French version of Gothic.