Exactly when Ruskin executed this work has caused debate amongst scholars. Professor David Hill has suggested that the combination of studious naturalism, pen and ink and deft, clean washes are comparable to Ruskin’s drawings of 1849. In that year he carried out an Alpine tour and was in Geneva between the 18 and 21 July, where he stayed at the Hotel Bergues, which is only a short walk from the Villa de Tournay. Conversely, Professor Stephen Wildman has proposed a date of circa 1862, a year when Ruskin was living in the village of Mornex, just to the south of Geneva.
The drawing is accompanied by a backing sheet, which is signed and inscribed by Frederick Crawley. Crawley worked as Ruskin’s valet from 1853; he accompanied him on many of his foreign travels and was skilled at taking daguerreotypes.
We are grateful to Professor David Hill and Professor Stephen Wildman for their help when cataloguing this work.
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