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Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield
'Spirals of Thorn', Study towards 'Modern Painters', Volume V
Date Made/Found: 1859-1860
Artist: George Allen , British, 1826 - 1907
Material and Medium: watercolour and pencil on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 297 x 420mm Support: 202 x 162mm
Department: Ruskin
Accession Number: CGSG00087
Allen made this study, along with another study of thorns towards John Ruskin's book, 'Modern Painters'. While Allen later engraved the second study as a book illustration, this one wasn’t used. However it was probably meant to illustrate Ruskin's 'Law of Deflection' in which he explains the way leaves 'fall gradually back' from the top of a stem. The study didn’t need to be coloured as the book illustrations would be black and white, but Ruskin perhaps thought that drawing in monochrome would be a useful technical exercise too. He believed that students should use black and white to try capturing the gradations of shade and tone correctly, before being distracted by colour. This could only be done by ‘rapid and various practice from natural objects, during which the attention of the student must be directed only to the facts of the shadows themselves, and not at all arrested on methods of producing them.’
Display Location: In Store
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