Copyright
Michael Bryan.

Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 4) online

. (page 80 of 82)
Online LibraryMichael BryanBryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 4) → online text (page 80 of 82)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Cossacks on horseback. 1818.

17 and 18. Views of the town of Hochstadt on the Aisch.
1819.

19. Two Views of the Town-hall of Bamberg.

20. Two Views of the Cathedral of Bamberg. 1821.

21 and 22. Visiting Cards of Count von Lamberg aud of
the artist.

RUPRECHT, JOHANN CHEISTIAN, (RUPERT,) a
German painter, was born at Nuremberg in 1600.
He copied the works of A. Diirer and several other
masters with great talent. He also produced
several original compositions, among which was
the ' Raising of Lazarus,' in the church of Se-
bald at Nuremberg. The Emperor Ferdinand III.
carried him to Vienna, where he died in 1654.

RUSCA, FRANCESCO CARLO, a painter, was born at
Lugano in 1701. He studied law, but abandoned
it for art, which he studied at Turin under Amiconi ;
and at Venice from the works of Titian and Veronese.
From Venice he travelled througli Switzerland,
Hanover, Berlin, and came also to England. He
died at Milan in 1769. He painted several portraits,
among which were :

The Countess Sehulenburg.

The Doge of Venice.

Charles I. of Brunswick. (Brunswick Gallery.")

RUSCHEWEYH, FERDINAND, a designer, en-
graver, and lithographer, who distinguished himself
by his engravings after Cornelius, Overbeck, Steinle,
and other artists of the same school ; also after Fra
Angelico, Raphael, Giulio Romano, Michel-Angelo,
and Thorwaldsen. He was born at Neustrelitz in
1785, and commenced his studies at Berlin about
1803 He passed some time at Vienna, and in 1808
went to Rome. His enthusiasm for the older Italian
masters, and his desire to emulate Marc-Antonio,
made him the natural interpreter of those painters
who wished to restore the ancient simplicity and
religious feeling of art. Ruscheweyh's engravings
did much to diffuse the knowledge of these artists
throughout Europe. While at Rome he engraved
tn t>eautifui illustrations to Goethe's Faust by



Cornelius, many sacred and classical subjects by
Overbeck, in addition to a long list of plates after
the old Italians. On his return to his native
country in 1832 he engraved the ' Jews in Exile,'
after Bendemann ; ' Christ in the Temple,' and
'Ruth and Boaz.' after Overbeck. He died in
1845.

RUSKIN, JOHN, English Art Reformer, born in
London of Scotch parents, February 8, 1819.
He was the author of some eighty distinct works
upon Natural Scenery, its artistic expression aud
the effects of it on Art upon Architecture, Sculp-
ture, Painting, and their subsidiary arts, upon the
history and evolution of Art from Pheidias to
Turner, and lastly, upon the moral and social
functions of the true artist, and the due training
of the Art faculty. These works date from 1843
to 1889. Besides all these books he was an
indefatigable draughtsman, showing work of rare
quality within definite limits. He was also a
practical teacher of drawing, gave an immense
series of Lectures on Art, and was Slade Professor
of Art in the University of Oxford, 1869-1884.
His life and works, spoken and written, were
devoted, in almost equal degree, half to Art half
to social, political, moral, and religious problems,
all of which he insisted were inextricably mixed
with Art, and reacted upon all forms of Art. In
this notice an attempt will be made to deal only
with his Art work, wherein he was always an
inspiring influence, if not an authoritative master.
In his seventeenth year Ruskin wrote an ardent
defence of the painter Turner. This led him
on to his first great book, ' Modern Painters, 1 5
vols., issued between 1843 and 1860. This noble
work, composed with a splendour of eloquence
and poetic fervour such as had never been found
in any Art criticism, opened with an elaborate
vindication of the methods of Turner and of other
British painters. This led on to a study of
mountains, sky, sea, and natural objects, uniting
scientific observation with pictorial insight. He
next took up the cause of the early Italian painters,
especially with reference to their spiritual and
devotional power. The three latter volumes of
' Modern Painters ' burst out into an immense
variety of topics which has been well called " a
sustained rhapsody on the beauty and wonder of
Nature, the dignity of Art, and the solemnity and
mystery of Life." All these volumes were illus-
trated with exquisite engravings from the author's
own drawings, full of a peculiar grace and a
marvellous observation of nature. Before ' Modern
Painters' was completed Ruskin turned to Archi-
tecture. 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture" (1849)
" sacrifice, truth, power, beauty, life, memory,
and obedience " applied to building the same prin-
ciples of truth and sincerity which he had already
applied to painting. It contains some of his most
fervid eloquence and some of his most masterly
drawings. A second book on Architecture,
the 'Stones of Venice,' 3 vols. (1851-1853), also
illustrated with rare studies and superb engravings,
was not only a profound essay on Venetian Archi-
tecture, but also an impassioned sketch of thi-
history, civilization, and decay of Venice. The
three volumes of the ' Stones of Venice' treat, in
turn, the early Byzantine work, the Gothic in its
perfection, and the Renaissance in its degeneration.
The book opens with a subtle analysis of all th-
elements of Venetian buildings, secular and
ecclesiastical. It then treats of its decorative and

301



A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONABY OF



constructive system. And it illustrates by ingeni-
ous comparisons the contrast between the power
and the decay of the Art of Venice. All the
principal edifices of Venice are examined in detail
from the side, first, of construction, and then of
ornament, with special reference to St. Mark's, the
Doge's Palace, Murano, and Torcello. The book,
though ostensibly on the Architecture of a single
city, deals incidentally with painting, especially
with the great Venetians, Titian, Veronese, and
Tintoretto, and even with the history of Northern
Italy, and the moral and intellectual character of
the Middle Ages.

These three books ' Modern Painters,' ' Seven
Lamps,' and 'Stones of Venice' are the most
important and the best-known of Ruskiri's Art
work. They all belong to the first half of his
career, the more specially artistic half (1843-
1860), when the author had completed forty years
of life. In them all, Architecture, Painting, Sculp-
ture, and all the decorative arts, are inextricably
intermingled, along with history, poetry, moral,
and even religious exhortation. Ruskin would
never separate one art from the rest, nor all true
Art from ethical and spiritual roots. His object,
he said, had been to show that all human work
depends for its beauty on the happy life of the
workman : and all three books are, what Carlyle
called the ' Stones of Venice,' " sermons in stones."
From this time forth Ruskin devoted his eloquence
and his wealth mainly to a moral and social gospel,
a subject which lies outside the scope of this work.
Although after 1860 Ruskin threw himself with
fervour into an economic and social propaganda,
he was inevitably drawn back to the Art studies
with which he began. They were of an extra-
ordinarily miscellaneous kind, for a list of which
the reader is referred to the 'Bibliography' by
Thomas J. Wise (1889-1893). He eagerly cham-
pioned the new movement of pre-Raphaelitism for
which see under Holman Hunt, Rossetti, Millais.
For many years he issued criticisms on the pictures
exhibited by the Royal Academy (1854-1859). At
this epoch Ruskin was widely recognized as a
leading authority on painting. The sincerity of
purpose, and the resolute aim to follow nature in
the new school, aroused Ruskin's enthusiastic
support ; but he was not blind to its limitations,
and he gave no countenance to the perversities of
its feeble imitators. The two ideas on which pre-
Raphnelitism was based earnestness of conception
and delicate observation of real facts in nature
were the germs of a great development of manliness
and realism in a large number of painters, both of
landscape and of figure subjects, by men who were
in no sense bigoted adherents of the pre-Raphaelite
Brethren. In 1859 the 'Academy Notes,' which
had obtained a great circulation, were discontinued,
owing to the vehement controversies they aroused
and the personal troubles they caused to the nation.
But there is no question that these frank and keen
criticisms, continued over six years, had influenced
for good, British art in many directions. His
volumes on 'Giotto at Padua,' on the ' Harbours of
England' (Turner's drawings), on the 'Drawings
of Turner,' presented to the nation, were master-
pieces of critical analysis and artistic insight
for which see article on Turner. His little book,
the 'Elements of Drawing' (1857), had immense
success, but it met with vigorous attacks. He
beijan public lectures on Art at Edinburgh, in
1853-1854 ; and these were followed by others at

302



Manchester, Bradford, Oxford, Cambridge, London,
Dublin, and many other cities.

In 1869 Ruskin was elected Slade Professor of
Art at Oxford, and, with intervals, he continued to
lecture to the students there until 1884. These
lectures, since published, many of them with
beautiful illustrations, like his books range over an
immense field of subjects, alternately treating the
various arts of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture,
and Engraving, poetry, history, morals, and the
education of the artist. Their versatility, subtlety,
learning, and fascination, cannot be described in
anything less than a volume. They range over
almost every era of art from Greek coins to the
Royal Academy, the temples of Athens, Italy,
France, and England, and almost every important
artist from Pheidias to Burne-Jones. The last
work of any importance was ' Fors Clavigera '
(1871-1881), a series of desultory 'Letters' on
all things in heaven and on earth, as varied, as
fascinating, and as stimulating as anything he
ever wrote, A long life devoted to encyclopaedic
study of Art in all its forms and of all ages, com-
bined with a passionate fervour to reform the
world, expressed in torrents of sonorous eloquence,
created a profound impression on the public and
on artists during the nineteenth century. The
most signal evidence of Ruskin's influence over
the ideas of his age will be found in the contrast
between theestimate of the Italian painters common
in the world of taste during the eighteenth century
and that current in the second half of the nineteenth
century. Until Ruskin had poured out his impas-
sioned eulogies of the early religious painters of
Florence, Siena, and Venice of Giotto, Fra Ange-
lico, Orcagna, Duccio, Bellini, Cimada Conegliano,
and their contemporaries the general public (in
spite of some excellent judges of the higher kind)
continued to believe in the Bologna and classical
schools, and admired Guido, Domenichino, Carlo
Dolci, and the Carracci ; and though Titian and
Veronese had always stood high in the estimate of
real amateurs, it was Ruskin who revealed their
full glory, and added to these supreme Venetians
the great name of Tintoretto. If Claude and
Canaletto began "to take a lower place," if
Velazquez was not placed below Murillo, nor
Rembrandt placed below Teniers, in the opinion
of the public, it is largely owing to the influence
of Ruskin. No better proof of its effect could
be found than in comparing the acquisitions
added to our National Gallery before 1850 with
those added to it since that date. Criticism
so trenchant as his, diatribes so dogmatic, and
studies so miscellaneous and unsystematic, in-
evitably invited vigorous opposition. As a recon-
structive legislator in Art, Ruskin has not been
generally accepted at least not yet. As a re-
former, as an inspiring influence, as a noble teacher
of Truth and Beauty, John Ruskin holds a foremost
place in English literature. He died at Brantwood,
Coniston, his retreat for thirty years, in 1900, and
is buried in Coniston churchyard. F. H.

RUSS, KARL, painter and engraver, born at
Vienna in 1779, was a pupil of Schmitzer and
Maurer. In 1800 he was appointed guardian of the
Belvedere Gallery at Vienna. In 1822 he exhibited
a series of pictures, thirty-seven in number, repre-
senting scenes taken from the history of the House
of Hapsburg. He died in 1843.

RUSS, LEANDER, painter, born at Vienna in 1809,
was a pupil of the Academy in that city, and painted



PAINTERS AND ENGRAVERS.



military subjects in water-colours, suck as the
Battles of ' Kolin,' ' Caldiero,' and ' Liepzic ' ;
and ' Charles XII. at Poltawa.' He also worked
much in Indian-ink. He died at Vienna in 1864.

RUSSEL, ANTONY, an English portrait painter,
the son of Theodore Russel, born about 1660. He
is supposed to have studied under Riley. Many of
his works were engraved by J. Smith and Vertue.
He died in 1743.

KUSSEL, THEODORE, a Flemish portrait painter
and copyist, born at Bruges in 1614. He learned
his art under his uncle, Cornelius Jansen, and Van
Dyck, with whom he lived in England. His chief
patrons were Lord Essex and Lord Holland. He
found much employment as a copyist, especially of
Van Dyck's portraits. He died in 1869. The
following are some of his works :

Hampton Court. Copy of Rubens' ' Thomyris re-

ceiving the head of Cyrus.'
Holyrood Palace. Charles II.

James II.

London. Nat. Portrait ) Sir John Suckling ; after Van

Gallery. J Dyck.
Woburn Abbey. Several portraits.

RUSSELL, JOHN, was born March 29th, 1745,
at Guildford, the county town of Surrey. His
father, John Russell the elder (1711-1804), was
a man of note in Guildford at that time. His father,
also a John Russell, had been Mayor in 1723, and
in later days he himself succeeded four times to
the same honourable position, occupying the civic
chair in 1779, 1789, 1791 and 1797. The family
had been connected with Guildford since 1509, and
the artist's father had succeeded his father in the
family business, that of book and print dealers,
carried on at 32, High Street.

At, an early age John was sent to the Grammar
School in the High Street. He does not appear
to have received any other education than he ob-
tained there, but was a man who persistently
through life was steadily educating himself and
widening and deepening- his store of information.
When about thirteen the lad was very much at-
tracted by the etching of a man by Wormald that he
espied in the window of a print shop in Long Acre.
The friend procured and presented to him this etch-
ing, and he copied it over and over again with great
accuracy and evident care, and from this circum-
stance can be traced his early aspirations toward
art. The artistic temperament was already resident
in the family. John Russell, the father, was
responsible for an interesting and valuable view
of his native town, entitled 'The North-West
Prospect of Guildford,' which was engraved, and
which he published in 1759, and also for another
view of the town taken from the north-west and
published in 1782.

At an early age John was placed by his father
under the tuition of Francis Cotes, R.A., one
of the founders and first Academicians of the
Royal Academy in 1768. When first he went
to Cotes is not known, nor how long he re-
mained in his studio, but in 1767 he was
practising on his own account, although very
often visiting his master, Cotes. After coming
to London the whole life of John Russell was
altered by the religious convictions that seized him
and which actuated the remainder of his career.
The religious side of his character is the prin-
cipal phase of his life presented in his private
diary, and so emphatic were his opinions that they
tinged every aspect of his life. The diary was



commenced upon July 6th, 1766, and in it is the
following inscription : " John Russell converted
September 30, 1764, aetat. 19, at about half-an-
hour after seven in the evening." Thus was
struck the keynote of his life, and very early in
his career his strong religious views got him into
difficulty. Cotes did not agree at all with his
pupil's opinions, and being, as was the custom of
the day, a man in constant use of strong and forc-
ible language, and lacking in sympathy toward
the motif of Russell's life, resented very warmly
his professions. He appears to have left Cotes
without coming to a full settlement of some
financial claim that he had upon his master, for
being in Guildford at his father's house in June
1767, he wrote on the 20th: "Returned to town
as Cotes had offered me to settle with me." On
leaving Cotes, Russell took lodgings in London at
Mr. Haley's, watchmaker, John Street, Portland
Street, Cavendish Square, not far from his old
master's house. He was out of his time, he wrote,
on "October 8th, 1767, altho' the Indentures were
not given up ; " but he remained in London a very
short time, and spent a few days at his father's house
at Guildford before starting upon his first country
commission at Cowdray House, near Midhurst.
The pictures that he painted at this his first
artistic commission cannot be traced, nor is it
distinctly known whom they represented. Miss
Brown and Miss Mackworth he certainly painted,
and probably both Lord and Lady Montague, but
it is probable that all the pictures perished, witli
many others, in the great fire. He then returned to
London by coach, and entered upon steady work in
portraiture, and his art seems very quickly to have
become known and appreciated. He was residing
at John Street, and had become very intimately
acquainted with a family of the name of Faden.
The father kept a print and map shop at Charing
Cross, and the eldest son was afterwards appointed
Geographer to the King. There were two daugh-
ters, Judith and Hannah, and it was to Hannah
that Russell was specially attracted, and they were
married in 1770. On May llth, 1768, Whitfield
sat to him for his picture, and it is curious that
although this portrait and that of Wesley, who had
an appointment later on in 1773, were engraved, and
commanded an immediate and steady sale, yet neither
of the originals, despite all inquiries, can be found.
Another great divine whose acquaintance Russell
made at this time was Dr. Dodd. It was probably
through Dodd's introduction that Russell made the
acquaintance of the celebrated Earl of Chesterfield,
the godfather of young Stanhope, who afterwards
succeeded him in the title. Philip Stanhope, the
pupil, was at that time about thirteen years old,
and Lord Chesterfield, writing to him in 1769, men-
tions Russell. " I have bespoke," said Lord Chester-
field, "of Mr. Russell a picture of you singly in
the same dress, but with the attributes of a man of
learning and taste. Anacreon, Horace, and Cicero
lye (sic) upon your table, and you have a Shake-
spear in your hand to suit with your dress."
This portrait represents the lad as the letter
describes. He is in a fancy costume, probably
worn at some amateur theatricals in which his
godfather had seen him. He has red rosettes on
his shoes, and on the background, above his head,
is the remarkable word "ERIS" (thou shalt be).
The picture is dated 1769, and now belongs to the
Earl of Carnarvon, and hangs at Bretby. In
February 1769 the Ladies Ann and Isabel Ers-

303



A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF



kine sat to Russell, and on the 24th he went to
the house of their mother, the Countess of Buchan,
and painted her portrait also. Russell exhibited
in 1768 on April 8th for the first time. It was
at an Exhibition held by the Society of Artists
in their great room in Spring Gardens, Charing
Cross, and he sent three pictures: 142. Young
Lady, in crayon. 143. Young Lady, in oil. 144.
Clergyman, in oil. At this time he was living in
John Street. On January 2nd, 1770, he took a
house in Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, No. 7.
After his marriage he continued, while carrying
on his profession, to give much time to artistic
study, and records the arrangements he made for
the winter's study at the Royal Academy, where
in December he obtained the gold medal for figure
drawing. Russell never neglected the study of
anatomy, so pre-eminently important to him in his
profession ; but, in later life, so anxious was he to
avoid any pedantic display of such knowledge in
drawing, that his advice to young artists was,
" Learn anatomy thoroughly and then forget all
about it." Hunter's lectures on anatomy were
regularly attended by Russell, and he profited by
the instruction he so gained. He exhibited at the
Academy from its commencement, and year after
year, down to that of his death in 180G, he sent
pictures to its Exhibitions. In 1771 came the first
recognition of his talent. On January 12th, 1771,
he thus wrote : " Received honours at the R.A.
We are removed this day from Pall Mall to Somerset
Pahice." It is not easy to say what the honour was,
but it was probably only a formal recognition of
the beauty of some picture, or else some personal
praise from the President or Council. It em-
boldened Russell to take some steps in obtaining
his Associateship ; but he was no favourite at the
Academy, where his too frequent religious argu-
ments had made him many enemies. On April 18th
he referred to " oppressive treatment at the Royal
Academy"- and again, on August 14th, thus
writes : " Received a check from the R.A. for
applying for votes, but thought that the custom
was so common that it could give no offence."
Offence was given, however, for on August 27th, at
ihe election, he lost his Associateship by one vote.
On November 3rd, 1772, he was elected A.R.A.
On February 6th, 1774, Russell dined with the
Dilettanti Society, and Sir Joshua was in the chair.
Russell's companion was on that occasion Sir
Thomas Banks, who was for many years Secretary
to the Society. Four years afterwards, in 1778,
Russell was again at the Dilettanti Society's
dinner, "this time witli Reynolds and the Duke."

In 1770 Russell went to visit Mrs. Wilberforce
at Wimbledon, and while there he met her talented
nephew, the then youthful William Wilberforce,
At this time he painted a cabinet portrait of
the lad in oil, very small, but exquisitely finished,
almost in the style of a miniature, and this
portrait is one of the treasures of the National
Portrait Gallery, by whom it was acquired in
1887 by bequest of his son-in-law, the Rev. John
James. It is a picture 11 J x 9, representing Wil-
berforce as a child of eleven, in a blue costume,
slashed and puffed with white, and wearing also a
large lace collar. In 1801 Russell painted Wilber-
force again, and the philanthropist in his diary of
that year, under date July 31st, makes mention
of both portraits in these words: "Mr. Russell
painted my picture for W. Hey. He painted me
above thirty years before. A very religious man,

304



very high church indeed." Samuel Wesley, the
composer, Nevill Maskelyne, the Astronomer-Royal
and his wife, and Mr. Richard Russell, a wool-
stapler of Bermondsey, who left his picture and
some 15,000 to the Female Orphan Asylum at
Beddington, were also amongst those who sat to
him for their portraits. On October 20th, 1772,
Lady Huntingdon sat to Russell for her portrait.
In September 1772 Russell went to Lord Hard-
wicke's, Wimpole Hall, Cambridge, but no trace
can at present be found of the portraits he painted
at either place. At a later period he again visited
Brighton, and did considerable work there. In
1777 his circumstances improved, and on Novem-
ber 28th, resuming his diary, he writes, "had
returned from a month's visit to Guildford, and was
blessed beyond expectation in temporal things."
In the following year he was for three months at
Kidderminster, and then at Shrewsbury, places that
he probably re-visited in the succeeding decade of
his life. He returned to London in April 1779, and
then two years occur of despondence and difficulty,
the last two of such severe trial in his experience.
Afterwards the tide turned, and notes of trouble
occur no more in the diary.

Russell records dining with the Royal Academy
on April 29th, 1780, " being the first day of open-
ing our new rooms in the Strand." And then, in
1780, he set out for Worcester, and from there
passed on to Bridgnorth, and thence by water to
Shrewsbury. Either in this journey or in the
following year he probably visited the Vale of
Neath in South Wales, as two of the very few
landscapes he ever painted are dated 1781, and
represent scenes in that part of the country. On
July 29th he was at Worcester. During his tour
Russell visited Malvern, Kidderminster, and Dale,
and then passed on to Oxford. While at Oxford,
on January 7th, 1781, Russell heard of the death



Online LibraryMichael BryanBryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 4) → online text (page 80 of 82)