We believe this was one of the drawings Ruskin prepared to allow his printmakers to produce the plate below, it does not appear to have been painted as a finished artwork. The architectural detail and layout of the buildings around the Ducal Palace are incredibly accurate whilst some of the other details show little care at all.
The Stones of Venice is a three volume treatise on Venian art and architecture by John Ruskin, first published from 1851 to 1853. The Stones of Venice examines Venetian architecture in detail. All the illustrations were produced by Ruskin himself.
The series was a great success but there was a demand for a summary version that could be carried around by visitors to Verona and Venice rather than three rather massive tomes.
In 1879 this addition to the series was published called the ‘Introductory Chapters and Local Indices’
We discovered a first edition copy of this book for sale in the US, it had images of the frontispiece plate in the auction listing. We did not hesitate to acquire this copy, the gondola was a close match to the one on the painting from Brantwood of the Ducal Palace we had in the collection.
The Preface to the volume details Ruskin’s ambition to produce one set of plates as a separate volume to accompany the series, the plate used as a frontispiece is labelled as IV-19 so presumably one of the final set. As far as I can discover there were no follow ups to this single small volume nor any sign of any separate plates.
Collingwood records that Ruskin made many drawings and painting for each of the plates he was producing to allow the engravers to use very fine and accurate details in their production.
All of our images have been digitally restored bringing them back to perfect condition, they are absolutely stunning. You can purchase prints of them all at our Etsy Art Gallery 2020 in original, A4 and in some cases A3 sizes at very reasonable prices. Please check this out, we need every sale to enable us to restore the originals and stop their further deterioration..