'Arch Masonry', Study towards 'The Stones of Venice', Volume I
Date Made/Found: about 1851
, British, 1819 - 1900
Material and Medium: pencil on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 420 x 295mm
Support: 328 x 228mm
Accession Number: CGSG00505
Ruskin wrote and illustrated his book 'The Stones of Venice' between 1851 and 1853. In volumes entitled 'The Foundations', 'The Sea Stories' and 'The Fall', Ruskin guides readers through Venice's architectural style, its social history, and the value of craftsmanship.
Ruskin spent long periods in Venice studying the architecture in minute detail, making many thousands of notes and measurements on buildings so that he could be as accurate as possible. Only one illustration from this plate is from Venice however, as he used comparable buildings to illustrate his points more clearly.
This is Plate 3 in the first volume, which is mostly an introduction to architectural styles and structures. Figure 7 is from Venice itself, from the Church of the Frari. Others come from Padua, Verona, Sens Cathedral in France, Carnarvon Castle in Wales and a belfry in Vevay, Switzerland. Together they illustrate different types of voussoirs, the blocks used to make up arches.