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Description: This two-page autograph letter (unsigned) is dated “4th December” and  is addressed to George Allen, the publisher. It describes Ruskin’s plan for the series The Laws of Fesole:[A Familiar Treatise on the Elementary Principles and Practice of Drawing and Painting as Determined by the Tuscan Painters]. It was ultimately published in four  parts between 1877 and 1879. The letter states in full:

“My dear Allen,

I am much pleased at your being in so good spirits. I am fairly well, and the new notions getting into close form. The laws of Fresole had better be planned as a series to be finished next year, of properly elementary training.

I will do it in twelve parts of the size of Fors [Clavigera] at the same price, giving four to line, four to colour, four to shade. One plate in each and supplementary plates arranged for an appendix. Then the general and wide teaching, with old “Modern Painters” in bits will follow under another name.

Write here, to-morrow, but all next week to Broadlands.

You’ll get the Thistle on Monday or Tuesday. “

Written on two pages of 4½” x 7” Corpus Christi College, Oxford letterhead, bearing the symbol of a mythical bird. The name of the college has two lines drawn across it and Herne Hill written in. Someone has penciled in “’75”. The letter is housed in a  6½” x 9 ½” burgundy leather envelope which has “Original Autograph Letter by John Ruskin Presented with the Library Edition of Ruskin’s Works 1912” embossed in gold lettering across the front. Item #A01723

John Ruskin (1819-1900) was a controversial and at times self-contradictory but perceptive English writer, critic of art, architecture, and society. He was also a painter and engraver. In 1870, he was appointed the Slade professor of Fine Art at Oxford.

George Allen (1832-1907) was initially Ruskin’s student and then assistant drawing master at the Working Men’s College before he went into publishing business with Ruskin. He made many of the engravings for Ruskin’s work and published Ruskin’s “Collected Works” posthumously.

Condition: Mailing fold lines with light soil.  Generally very good condition.