John Ruskin (British, 1819-1900) Wild Scabious
Lot 107
John Ruskin (British, 1819-1900) Wild Scabious
Sold for £2,640 (US$ 4,437) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
John Ruskin (British, 1819-1900)
Wild Scabious
signed, dated and inscribed 'J.Ruskin.1884 (for Isabelle) watercolour with bodycolour
6.9 x 6.2cm (2 11/16 x 2 7/16in).


    Gifted to Isabelle Marshall by the artist;
    Thence by descent

    A recent note on the reverse states: 'Isabelle Marshall (1853-1939) eldest daughter of Henry Marshall (solicitor in Liverpool) and Mary Dyott Burnaby, and sister of Robert Marshall of Croydon. She was a pupil a Winnington School Cheshire where Ruskin taught. He offered to paint any flower of Isabelle's choice. She chose the wild Scabious'

    According to Stephen Wildman at the Ruskin library, Isabelle Marshall appears in a number of letters around 1864, which published in Van Akin Burd (ed.), The Winnington letters; John Ruskin's correspondence with Margaret Alexis Bell and the children at Winnington Hall (1969). There is no mention of the present lot but it is thought, as suggested by the reverse note, that Ruskin offered to paint any plant of Isabelle's choice while tutoring her during his informal placement at the school as a Drawings master in 1864 (he paid six visits to the school during that year and was also a Patron). According to family history Isabelle is thought to have chosen what she thought would be the hardest flower for Ruskin to draw. Ruskin is then thought to have given the drawing to Isabelle along with lot 107, Elizabeth Siddal's Madonna and child.

    We are grateful to Stephen Wildman for his assistance in cataloguing this lot

Saleroom notices

  • This lot is dated '1864' rather than as stated in the catalogue.
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