'Capitals, Concave group', Study towards 'The Stones of Venice', Volume I
Date Made/Found: about 1851
, British, 1819 - 1900
Material and Medium: pencil on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 400 x 282mm
Support: 352 x 226mm
Accession Number: CGSG00188
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.
This is Plate 17 from the first volume, which is mostly an introduction to Venice’s architectural style and architectural terminology. However none of these drawings show Venetian architecture, as Ruskio ften looked elsewhere to find the best possible architectural examples to illustrate his points more clearly.
The three figures or illustrations show columns topped by concave capitals, from the cathedrals in Milan (upper left) and Verona (upper right), and the crypt of San Zeno, Verona (below). Ruskin used the plate to show how columns bear loads and the development of their style from the earliest at Milan, described by him to be of the 'rudest possible' manner to the more developed versions at Verona, such as San Zeno’s which he described as 'exquisitely finished.'