Apple Stem
Date: 1878
Medium: Graphite, watercolor and gouache on buff paper
Dimensions: 9 x 7 1/2 in. (22.9 x 19.1 cm) frame: 22 3/4 × 18 3/4 in. (57.8 × 47.6 cm)
Credit Line: Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935
Object Number: 1935-220
About: This meticulous study of an apple blossom branch clearly shows the working method advocated by the art critic John Ruskin in his magnum opus, Modern Painters. Ruskin encouraged all British artists to “go to nature, rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, scorning nothing.” The close observation of nature and the careful recording of every detail was a hallmark of the new Pre-Raphaelite style. Shields made this study at the request of his friend Rossetti, who needed an accurate example to work from for the background of his painting A Vision of Fiammetta.
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