Ruskin’s Daguerrotypes

Some time ago, I spent a memorable day in deepest rural Essex out beyond Great Bardfield viewing a collection of daguerrotypes which had been taken by Ruskin, or, more likely, his butler, whilst walking round Venice.   They were discovered packed carefully away in an old mahogany box at a country auction, having probably been sold from Brantwood in the 1930s.   I remember peering at Venice as if through an eyeglass by Ruskin himself:  old, dilapidated, unrestored, but full of picturesque incident which led to his drawings and the writing of The Stones of Venice.   The daguerrotypes have now been comprehensively researched and published by Ken and Jenny Jacobson who made the discovery.


3 thoughts on “Ruskin’s Daguerrotypes

  1. Victoria says:

    It would be wonderful to see these if they were to go on display somewhere. On two small related points on Sunday, I happened to be walking down Rue Daguerre near Denfert-Rochereau in Paris, where I’m staying for the week. I’m meaning to look up whether the street is connected in some way to the Daguerreotype process. And secondly today I’ve just been to an interesting free exhibition at the Hotel de Ville on Paris Magnum, capturing Paris from the 1930’s to the present day through the lenses of many of the great press photographers of the day Capa etc. Hotel de Ville often mounts good exhibitions, I saw one last year on Paris in film, and have often thought it would be interesting to see if it were possible to have some of the shows brought to London.

    • I didn’t mention in my post that we had hoped to show the daguerrotypes in an exhibition in the Sackler galleries, but it was for some reason superceded by rival Ruskin exhibitions in Edinburgh and Ottawa last summer.

    • François-Marc Chaballier says:

      It appears that the street (which was already in existence in 1730 and most likely earlier) was indeed renamed in 1867 after Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerréotype. With thanks to Wikipedia…

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