'Window from the Ca' Foscari', Incomplete Sketch towards 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture'Artist:
, British, 1819 - 1900
Material and Medium: pencil on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 439 x 323mm
Sight size: 223 x 145mm
Accession Number: CGSG00012
The Seven Lamps of Architecture was a book written and illustrated by Ruskin. It was first published in 1849 as his first major work on architecture. In it, he writes of the emotional and moral power of buildings and the principles and development of good design.
This unfinished drawing only shows the basic outline of what would become Plate 8. Ruskin included it to show the careful jointing of this decorative window, in which different sections have been carved into to meld seamlessly together. Later he explained how the success of the window is due to the simple outlines, shadows and 'shapely order' of the window. It had, he wrote, for such a simple design 'the grandest effect I have ever seen.'
In the final engraved version, Ruskin developed the lines of the drawing to show more shadow and the palace’s carved ornamenation in more detail. He even added the leading on the glazing, with a curtain drawn untidily to one side.