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Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield
Study of Rock, Moss and Ivy
Date Made/Found: 1885
Artist: Kate Greenaway , British, 1846 - 1901
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 297 x 420mm Support: 205 x 362mm
Department: Ruskin
Accession Number: CGSG00027
John Ruskin challenged Greenaway, a popular children’s’ book illustrator to paint this rock, feeling that she needed to draw from nature to improve her drawing skills. Kate recorded this event in a letter to Joan Severn, Ruskin's cousin and nurse and said ‘I remember he wondered at the way I did it', suggesting he criticised it too. Ruskin found great beauty in the everyday rocks he found lying around his garden. He encouraged people to draw from stone and explained some of the beauty he found in it: 'When a rock of any kind has lain for some time exposed to the weather, Nature finishes it in her own way. First she takes wonderful pains about its forms: sculpting it into exquisite variety of dint and dimple… then she colours it, and every one of her touches of colour… is a minute forest of living trees, glorious in strength and beauty….'
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