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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H

Zermatt

Watercolour
1844 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

John Ruskin was an art critic as well as an artist. He advised painters to go directly to nature, 'rejecting nothing, selecting nothing'. This scene of Zermatt, Switzerland, is a carefully recorded view. Ruskin visited Switzerland in the summer of 1844 with his parents.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour
Brief Description
Watercolour entitled 'Zermatt' by John Ruskin, painted in Switzerland, 1844. British School.
Physical Description
Ruskin conveys the different forms of the slopes, from the lower gently grassed pastures dotted with small chalets, past the densely wooded hillside, to the glaciers and jagged summits. The cursory watercolour treatment of the foreground buildings serves to emphasise the delicate observation of the distant mountains. Painting directly from nature - 'rejecting nothing, selecting nothing' - was to be his advice to the young Pre-Raphaelites seven years later.
Dimensions
  • Framed height: 45cm
  • Framed width: 50cm
Style
Object history
In the summer of 1844, Ruskin visited Switzerland with his parents, and arrived in Zermatt, about ten miles from the Matterhorn, early in August. Although he visited Zermatt again in August 1849, he was by that date more interested in the geological structure of the mountains rather than, as here, in the careful record of a view and, important too for the Pre-Raphaelites, the clear light and atmosphere.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
John Ruskin was an art critic as well as an artist. He advised painters to go directly to nature, 'rejecting nothing, selecting nothing'. This scene of Zermatt, Switzerland, is a carefully recorded view. Ruskin visited Switzerland in the summer of 1844 with his parents.
Collection
Accession Number
P.15-1921

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL