The Alps to the North of Turin from the Villa Regina - Evening

The Alps to the North of Turin from the Villa Regina - Evening



John Ruskin (1819-1900)
The Alps to the North of Turin from the Villa Regina - Evening

Signed lower right and extensively inscribed with location
Watercolour over pencil on buff paper
9.6 by 30 cm., 3 ¾ by 11 ¾ in.

Sir Edward Tyas Cook (1857-1919);
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, 15
th June 2000, lot 246;
With W/S Fine Art, London, 2011, where bought by the present owner

The Works of John Ruskin
, ed. E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, 1903-1912, vol. XXXVIII, no.1700, p.288;
WS Fine Art/Andrew Wyld, Exhibition Catalogue, 2011, no.44, p.91, ill.

London, W/S Fine Art, 2011, no. 44

This view was taken from the Villa Regina di Torino, a property belonging to the royal House of Savoy. It was built in 1615 and became known as `Regina' after 1692 when it came into the ownership of Anne Marie d'Orléans, the wife of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy. It is a view looking north with 'Cervin' (Monte Cervino, the Italian name for the Matterhorn) in the centre.

It is likely to date from the summer of 1858, when Ruskin spent six weeks in Bellinzona and another six in Turin and was possibly drawn on 3
rd August. On 4th August Ruskin wrote to his father: `I could not understand why I thought so much less of the Alps seen from here than I used to do; but yesterday evening they appeared in all their glory, and I see that the effects of atmosphere have been too clear in general hitherto, and made them look small… but yesterday there was a great deal of soft mist, and they looked magnificent' (Cook and Wedderburn, op. cit., vol. XXXVI, p. 287).

An early owner of this drawing, E.T. Cook, was a journalist and writer, who along with Alexander Wedderburn, edited the 39 volumes comprising all of Ruskin's works. He also produced biographies of notable figures including Florence Nightingale, as well as handbooks of the collections of the National Gallery, Tate Gallery and the British Museum. He was knighted in 1912 and made a KBE in 1917.