Henry Roderick Newman
, American, about 1843 - c.1917
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 530 x 395mm
Sight size: 310 x 230mm
Accession Number: CGSG00752
Ruskin wrote about why people often ‘admire a rose so much more than all other flowers’. His view was that it was because of their pure, rich colours. He added ‘that in the rose there is no shadow, except what is composed of colour. All its shadows are fuller in colour than its lights, owing to the translucency and reflective power of its leaves.'
Though he was in general an architectural artist, Newman's rose drawing relates closely to these observations. Ruskin felt that few artists, other than botanical illustrators tried to paint roses properly because they could not capture the true beauty in them. In his words: 'a thoroughly good workman feels the feebleness of his means when he matches them fairly with Nature, and gives up the attempt frankly - painting the rose dull red, rather than trying to rival its flush in the sunshine.'