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Study of an Apple

Louise Virenda Blandy (1860 - 1890)1875

The Ruskin Library

The Ruskin Library

Inscribed "L.V.B."

According to an inscription on an old mount, a watercolour by Ruskin and this copy by Louise Blandy were made in the schoolroom at the Blandys’ house, 57 Gloucester Place, London, on 29 November 1875: Louise was then fifteen. Ruskin’s diaries record several visits Gloucester Place to play chess with Dr. Blandy, seemingly Alfred Addison Blandy, a dentist from Baltimore who knew Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederate States.

In his daughter Louise, Ruskin found a perfect pupil on whom to exercise his practical method of art instruction. From the age of thirteen, in 1873, she received recommendations on what to look at, draw and copy. In January 1874 he took her to the National Gallery for the first time, and later she was asked to copy one of Ruskin’s ‘lesson photographs,’ a Titian Madonna and Child. He taught Louise less after 1875, but apparently she received some formal training, and exhibited work in London between 1879 and 1881, including at the Grosvenor Gallery.

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