The Cathedral, Chartres

The Cathedral, Chartres



John Ruskin (1819-1900)
The Cathedral, Chartres

Signed lower right: Chartres/JRuskin
Pencil on laid paper
14.6 by 22.2 cm., 5 ¾ by 8 ¾ in.

Joan Ruskin Severn, a gift from the artist;
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, 12
th July 1984, lot 54;
Acquired June 1999

This late impressionistic drawing dates from Ruskin's tour of northern France in August to November 1880, in the company of fellow artists Joseph Severn and Hercules Brabazon Brabazon. They arrived in Calais on 23
rd August and travelled via Abbeville, Amiens, Beauvais and Paris, arriving in Chartres on 7th September. Chartres Cathedral was Ruskin's favourite French church. His diary entry for 10th September reads: `Up, D.G., in perfectly good health and lovely sunshine, and one thing lovelier than another in the inexhaustible old town. Up to crown of the northern spire last night, just at the best hour before sunset; all the plain a-glow for forty miles each way, as clear as if the air were glass - six thousand square miles of champaign and winding wood along the Eure' (Cook and Wedderburn, Works, vol. XXXIII, p. xxiv). He was back in Paris by 17th September.