Viola biflora, Primula Scotica and Soldanella Alpina
Charlotte Catharine Murray
Date Made/Found: about 1880
, British, born 1840
Material and Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 482 x 391mm
Sight size: 224 x 137mm
Accession Number: CGSG00183
This study is part of a botanical series by Murray. Ruskin chose several of her flower studies for Sheffield’s Collection in 1881 as he felt the ‘tender, yet effective laying of colour’ and ‘instantaneously right contour’ of her flower painting was ‘unsurpassable’. Murray gave the rest of the series to the Collection after Ruskin’s death.
Ruskin felt that flower studies were important to art because the artist needed high powers of observation to perceive the colour and delicacy of the flowers accurately, and then great artistic skill to capture the many colours correctly in paint.
Despite the difficulty, Ruskin still felt that an artist should 'day by day… draw some lovely natural form or flower …choosing for study, in natural scenes, only what is beautiful and strong in life.' That way, he would find a new sense of beauty in his surroundings.