The Tower of Can Signorio from the Corso Cavour, Verona, ItalyArtist:
, British, 1852 - 1917
Material and Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 418 x 293mm
Support: 289 x 213mm
Accession Number: CGSG00447
This drawing is dominated by the 'Torre del Gardello' or watchtower of the Palazzo del Comune, one of the administrative palaces of Verona. It dates from the 1370s and its V-shaped crenellations at the top are typical of palaces and castles in this area. The Scalgeri family, which ruled between the 1200s and 1400s, adopted them as a symbol for all their buildings.
Randal's drawing of the street below is perhaps influenced by Ruskin's delight in the streets of Verona: 'if we were once to lose ourselves among the sweet shadows of [Verona's] lonely streets, where the falling branches of the flowers stream like fountains through the pierced traceries of the marble, there is no saying whether we might soon be able to return to our immediate work.'
Ruskin himself greatly admired the medieval architecture of Verona, and described it as the ‘purest’ and ‘most noble’ form of it. He felt that it was created for domestic and useful purposes rather than out of pride.