'The Lombard Apennine': Plate from 'Modern Painters', Volume IIIArtist: after
, British, 1819 - 1900
, British, 1826 - 1907
Material and Medium: steel engraving on paper
Dimensions: Support: 202 x 285mm
Accession Number: CGSG00805
This plate depicts the Apennine Mountains and the sky at sunset, as seen from the city of Parma in northern Italy. It is found in the third volume of 'Modern Painters', a 5-volume book Ruskin wrote as an examination of landscape painting but also as a defence of the paintings of JMW Turner.
Originally, Ruskin intended to use the plate in the fifth volume, 'On Cloud Beauty' where it would illustrate his notes on 'the firmament' (the sky). Yet, feeling that the plate would be too crowded in this volume, Ruskin used it in a chapter entitled 'The Teachers of Turner' to illustrate the type of landscape that inspired the artists of the early Italian Renaissance. These were some of the artists whom he most admired, and the plate describes ‘the sweet free spaces of sky through which rose and fell… the coloured rays of the morning and evening.'