Study of Sculpture: 'Bird and Grapes', Vine Angle, Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy
Date Made/Found: 1876-1877
, Italian, ?1853 - ?1904
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 418 x 294mm
Support: 225 x 249mm
Accession Number: CGSG00512
Carloforti copied this detail from a sculpture ‘The Drunkenness of Noah’, which adorns an external corner of the Doge’s Palace. In the sculpture, the drunken Noah is to one side of a tree and two of his sons are to the other. The tree itself is a vine, and birds peck at the grapes.
For Ruskin, the Doge's palace was one of the greatest buildings on earth and he wrote about each detail of it in his book, 'The Stones of Venice'. He commented on the vine tree saying that it was 'interesting in its extreme refinement.' He went on: 'the distribution of the variously bending leaves, and the placing of the birds on the lighter branches… prove to us the power of the designer'.
At much the same time as Carloforti produced this watercolour, Ruskin also took plaster casts of the sculpture. These too are in Sheffield's Ruskin Collection.