Inscription: Recto, in brown ink, "Seen and entirely approved 5th July 77. John Ruskin." at l.r.; Verso, Baumfeld's stamp
in red ink at l.r.
Provenance: Zeitlin and Ver Brugge, Los Angeles; Rudolf L. Baumfeld, Los Angeles
Scope and Content:
After reading John Ruskin's Seven Lamps of Architecture, William Ward enrolled in his drawing class at the London Working
Men's College in 1854. Ruskin's influence over the younger man's career could not have been more complete. He became Ward's
mentor, friend, and chief employer, commissioning him in 1858 to copy watercolors by the late J.M.W. Turner. Through his own
talent as well as careful attention to materials used and techniques developed by Turner and taught him by Ruskin, Ward became
the most accomplished of Turner's many copyists or imitators. Several of the smaller watercolor landscapes attributed to Turner
over the years may in fact be by Ward. By 1869 Ruskin, aware of such real and potential difficulties, was signing and annotating
Ward's watercolors, not only as a statement of the work's merit but also to ensure proper attribution by dealers and collectors.
This drawing is a copy after Turner's view of the Seine between Mantes and Vernon in the Tate Gallery, London (Turner Bequest
CCLIX-114), one of the drawings in Turner's French River series of around 1830. The Ward drawing was commissioned by Ruskin
and has an inscription indicating his approval of the drawing on July 5, 1877.