The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy
Date Made/Found: late 19th Century
, British, 1784 - 1852
Charles Joseph Hullmandel
, British, 1789 - 1850
Material and Medium: lithograph or autotype on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 594 x 420mm
Support: 550 x 374mm
Accession Number: CGSG01693
Ruskin was familiar with Prout’s work from childhood sometimes copying his style of drawing with its intricate outlining of details. Ruskin’s father collected Prout’s work, and together they visited the places he drew.
As an adult Ruskin championed Prout saying 'there is nothing but the work of Prout which is true, living or right, in its general impression, and nothing, therefore, so inexhaustibly agreeable.' He also praised his works because they were 'faithful and fond' records of buildings and towns spoiled by industry and modernisation.
Ruskin was not so impressed by the famous Bridge of Sighs itself, saying it was 'a work of no merit… owning the interest it possesses chiefly to its pretty name.' He was more struck by the Rio façade of the Doge's Palace (the building to the left) saying its brickwork was ‘one of the finest things not only in Venice, but in the world. … there are few things more impressive than the vision of it overhead , as the gondola glides from beneath the Bridge of Sighs.'