'The Acanthus of Torcello': Plate from 'The Stones of Venice', Volume II
Date Made/Found: late 19th Century
, British, 1819 - 1900
John Henry Le Keux
, British, 1812 - 1896
Material and Medium: photogravure after line engraving on paper
Dimensions: Support: 289 x 201mm
Accession Number: CGSG00992
'The Stones of Venice' is a book that Ruskin published in three volumes between 1851 and 1853. Ruskin wrote the volumes after spending many months in Venice studying, measuring and drawing the city's buildings. Through them, Ruskin looks at the technical aspects of architecture, the different styles of Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance architecture and in particular their relationship to the political and moral values of Venice.
The 'Acanthus of Torcello' is the second plate from the second volume of 'The Stones of Venice' and describes the decorations on the columns in the basilica on Torcello, Venice’s earliest inhabited island. Ruskin describes their grace, praising the sculptors for the 'perfectly calculated effect from every touch of the chisel.' Ruskin's original notes and rough pencil illustrations towards this plate are also in Sheffield's Ruskin Collection.