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Lake, Land, and Cloud

James Charles Armytage (d. 1897) after John Ruskin (1819–1900)
Lake, Land, and Cloud. Steel-engraving. Frontispiece in vol. 3 of Ruskin's Modern Painters: Their Superiority in the Art of Landscape Painting to All the Ancient Masters Proved by Examples of the True, the Beautiful, and the Intellectual, from the Works of Modern Artists, Especially from those of J. M.W. Turner. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1843–60. 5 vols. Bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987; PML 133379
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Modern Painters began as a counterattack on critics of the landscape paintings of J. M. W. Turner but grew into a magisterial treatise on art theory and aesthetics, containing stinging social commentary as well as salient observations on literature, philosophy, and religion. Ruskin's ideas greatly influenced the work of Victorian garden designers, such as William Robinson and Gertrude Jekyll in England and Andrew Jackson Downing in America. The engraved frontispiece reproduces a Ruskin drawing, an ideal landscape in the Turnerian style.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.