RUSKIN (JOHN) - als in a book
Lot 159
RUSKIN (JOHN) Autograph letter signed ("JRuskin"), to the photographer Vernon Heath, 1882
Sold for £875 (US$ 1,369) inc. premium

Lot Details
RUSKIN (JOHN)
Autograph letter signed ("JRuskin"), to the photographer Vernon Heath, saying that he has taken his most interesting letter much to heart but explaining that he has been "so steadily depressed and weak since I last saw you, not recovering from the last illness as I did from former ones, that all my business has been cast aside and I am sorry to say, many a good friend with it"; nevertheless assuring him that the "sky photographs" were also safely received but he did not know to whom he was indebted for them, and begging him not to attribute his helplessness to disrespect or the want of feeling; tipped into an offprint bound in calf of Two Articles from the Quarterly Review (1872), one page, integral blank, 8vo, 2 June 1882

Footnotes

  • RUSKIN AND PHOTOGRAPHY: the recipient of this letter, Vernon Heath (1819-1895) was a pioneering photographer, indeed he claimed to have been present at the Royal Institution in 1839 when Faraday announced Daguerre's invention. In 1855 he set up in business with Robert Murray, with premises at 43 Piccadilly. His portraits received royal patronage and he became especially well-known for his landscape views. In a letter of 13 April 1882, Ruskin had told Heath that he looked forward to seeing his photographs, adding that he 'accused first the sun, and then you, and then the nature of things, of making all one's past labours vain, and all one's present efforts hopeless' (Vernon Heath's Recollections, 1892, pp. 295-6). He was then recovering from the third of his attacks of what has been characterized as either manic depression or paranoid schizophrenia, which increasingly blighted his last years.
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