skeleton of a Pelican

skeleton of a Pelican



John Ruskin
Study of the Skeleton of a Dalmatian Pelican

Inscribed lower right: Pelican
Pencil on light blue paper
15.8 by 23.1 cm., 6 ¼ by 9 in.

Mr and Mrs Arthur Severn, Brantwood;
Private Collection since 2003

London, Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colours, Ruskin Exhibition, 1901, no. 60 as 'Pelican's Head and Skull [two drawings]';
Manchester City Art Gallery, 
Ruskin Exhibition, 1904, no. 413 as 'Pelican's Head and Skull [two drawings]' .
London, The Fine Art Society, 
Ruskin Exhibition, 1907, no. 119 as 'Pelican's Head and Skull [two drawings]' .
London, Royal Academy of Arts, 
Ruskin Centenary Exhibition, 1919, no. 31 as 'Head and skull of Pelican'.

This drawing was made by life at the Zoological Gardens in London. It relates to a drawing of a Dalmatian Pelican (sold at Christie's on 17
th June 2014, lot 51 for £20,000) and the two drawings were evidently mounted and exhibited together. E.T. Cook records that this latter drawing was `one of a large number of [studies of] different birds which Ruskin made from life at the Zoological Gardens' (see E.T. Cook and A. Wedderburn (eds.), Works of John Ruskin (Library Edition), 1912, vol. 25, p. liii). Ruskin mainly worked on natural history studies from 1870 onwards.