“Heidelberg” (MS VIII)—Of the subjects listed, only the last one can be definitely identified with a source—At Braubach on the Rhine from Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany by Samuel Prout (1783–1852). Why Ruskin associated Braubach with the section on Heidelberg is not clear. Perhaps by placing this scene at the end of the section he meant to afford a retrospective glance at the journey along the Middle Rhine, just as the phrase “the castellated Rhine” from Don Juan prompted Turner to devise the vignette The Castellated Rhine for the Works of Lord Byron as a more evocative than specifically topographical illustration (vol. 17, frontispiece):
. . . castellated Rhine:—
Ye glorious Gothic scenes! how much ye strike
All phantasies, not even excepting mine:
A grey wall, a green ruin, rusty pike,
Make my soul pass the equinoctial line
Between the present and past worlds, and hover
Upon their airy confine, half seas‐over.
Ye glorious Gothic scenes! how much ye strike
All phantasies, not even excepting mine:
A grey wall, a green ruin, rusty pike,
Make my soul pass the equinoctial line
Between the present and past worlds, and hover
Upon their airy confine, half seas‐over.
In Proutʼs At Braubach on the Rhine, the view dramatizes the steep Rhine Gorge cliffs, surmounted by castle ruins overlooking the river, which recede beyond the turret of the Braubach Gasthaus, situated on the river shore in the foreground. The Ruskins would have passed by Braubach on May 30 on the route from Koblenz to Boppard. Mary Richardson does not mention the town specifically, although she does list the Marksburg, the castle above Braubach, among the ruins the family viewed along the Middle Rhine (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, 24). A similar retrospection structures the illustrations planned for the section on “St. Goar”.
None of the other subjects can be definitely identified with print sources, including the “Old House” by Prout. Proutʼs Facsimiles contains no architectural scenes in the streets of Heidelberg; its sole view connected with the city depicts the Renaissance facade of the castle. Since that scene shows daytime activities, it also cannot have been planned to serve Ruskinʼs proposal here for “Castle by moonlight”. A moonlit image of the distant castle does appear in Heathʼs Picturesque Annual for 1833—Clarkson Stanfieldʼs Castle of Heidelberg—which draws on Leitch Ritchieʼs accompanying speculation about “what forms, that the eye of day never looked on, meet and wander there, or what voices are those that shriek on the gusts of night” (Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, and in Belgium and Holland, 49 and opp.).
A similar mood is conveyed by a moonlight view of Heidelberg Castle, The Great Court of Heidelberg, drawn by David Roberts for the 1834 edition of Pilgrims of the Rhine by Edward Bulwer‐Lytton. The engraving shows the Renaissance facade of the castle, which is observed by a solitary figure. This appearance of solitude is queried by Bulwer‐Lyttonʼs narrator, who, like Ritchie, poses a rhetorical question about the presence of spirits—a wonder that is reflected in many passages of Ruskinʼs “Account”: “Who shall say what millions of spiritual beings glide invisibly among scenes apparently the most deserted?” To suggest the presence of these beings surrounding Robertsʼs solitary spectator, this chapter headpiece engraving is answered by a tailpiece vignette, The Visit at Moonlight, drawn by E. T. Parris, in which fairies gather around a tomb. This scene adumbrates the sad conclusion of the novelʼs journey: Heidelberg will prove the final destination of the travelers, since the heroine, Gertrude, will expire while visiting the “haunted valley of the Neckar”, leaving her father, Vane, and lover, Trevylyan, to return bereft to England (Bulwer‐Lytton, Pilgrims of the Rhine, 321 opp., 321, 314).
Both Ritchieʼs and Bulwer‐Lyttonʼs illustrated texts were owned by the Ruskins (Dearden, The Library of John Ruskin, 278 [no. 2169], 212 [no. 1637]), but Bulwer‐Lyttonʼs tale is especially resonant with Ruskinʼs proposed series of images. The fairies, who have accompanied the travelers throughout their tour, gather in the Great Court of Heidelberg Castle to sing the “Song of the Fairies in the Ruins of Heidelberg”; and then they fly to a “small green spot” in the forest by the Neckar, which they know “by instinct” will become Gertrudeʼs grave. Their mourning is interrupted by the appearance of the Dark Witch of the Blight and Blast, who may be the source of Ruskinʼs projected illustration of a “Spectre”. Moreover, a history is related of this spot, telling of a hermit “in the early ages of Christianity” who retired here, relinquishing a Byronic existence “mingl[ing] the poet with the lawless chief”. Events had parted him from a damsel, “the presider over the tournament and gaillard”—a detail that might have suggested Ruskinʼs planned “tournament” picture (Bulwer‐Lytton, Pilgrims of the Rhine, 321–22, 324, 332). While Bulwer‐Lyttonʼs story is not necessarily required to make sense of Ruskinʼs scheme for illustrating “Heidelberg”, which sufficiently corresponds to the fancies about sprites, spectres, and medieval chivalry in the sectionʼs poem, “Now from the smiling afternoon” [“Heidelberg”], Ruskinʼs engagement with Bulwer‐Lyttonʼs novel was a timely addition to the Ruskinsʼ library in June 1834 (Benchmark Acquisitions of Influential Illustrated Travel Publications). For another possible adaptation of Pilgrims of the Rhine in the “Account”, see “The Rhine”.
“St Goar” (MS VIII)—Ruskin does not identify print sources for these subjects; and in the current state of MS IX, no images are set in place for the “St. Goar” section. As proposed here, a pair of features associated with St Goar—the “whirlpool” that churns the river beneath the Lorelei, and the Burg Rheinfels castle ruin that rises above the town—would respectively have headed the poem and the essay of the “St. Goar” section. (The whirlpool features in the poem, “We past a rock, whose bare front ever”; the castle is not mentioned in the essay, “St Goar is the least and sweetest place on all the Rhine”.) Set between these headpieces and at the end, respectively, tailpieces were to be formed by another complementary pair: images of Godesberg and of Drachenfels, referring to prominences with castles on opposite sides of the Rhine below Bonn. The latter images hearkened to the commencement of the Ruskinsʼ Rhine journey. (The Godesberg is mentioned in the essay.)
Many print sources of these subjects were available in the Ruskin family library. For the castle views, Ruskin could have found models drawn by Clarkson Stanfield in Ritchie, Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, and in Belgium and Holland, which was Heathʼs Picturesque Annual for 1833. In Stanfieldʼs frontispiece, St. Goar, a figure reclines in a stone archway which frames Burg Rheinfels, looking down on the village and the river. A dramatic view of the castle from the river below by David Roberts, The Ruins of Rheinfels, is included in Bulwer‐Lytton, Pilgrims of the Rhine by Edward Bulwer‐Lytton (p. 297 opp.).
For the Drachenfels, The Pilgrims of the Rhine, reduces the subject to a vignette engraving after David Roberts, Drachenfels (p. 100). In Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, The Drachenfels is a full‐page plate by Stanfield, depicting figures on a path high above the river plain, with Burg Drachenfels towering still higher on the peak above them. Leitch Ritchie attributes this view to a “place mentioned in the notes to Childe Harold, as being distinguished by a cross commemorative of the murder of a chief by his brother”. The remark points to the sway that canto 3 of Childe Haroldʼs Pilgrimage held over the British imaginative experience of the Rhine. (Ritchie misreads Byronʼs note on Drachenfels, however, which places the cross on the opposite bank of the river from Drachenfels. Byron probably refers to the fourteenth‐century Hochkreuz on the road between Bonn and Godesberg. The cross, which is now held in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, along with Godesburg Castle, is connected with legends both of fratricide and of child murder.) See Ritchie, Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, and in Belgium and Holland, 158 and opp.; Byron, Complete Poetical Works, ed. McGann, 2:304–5; and see Ruland, Legends of the Rhine, 221–29; and Snowe, The Rhine, 1:228–31].
For the Godesberg, Travelling Sketches on the Rhine includes an engraving after Stanfield, The Castle of Godesberg, featuring the castle ruin in the foreground, and the Drachenfels and Siebengebirge in the distance (Ritchie, Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, and in Belgium and Holland, 162 opp.). Print sources for images of the Lorelei and whirlpool available to Ruskin in 1833–34 are not yet identified.
“Coblentz” (MS VIII)—Of the two projected “Fortress” drawings, the one not labeled “my own” must refer to the vignette presently in place at the head of the section, “Ehrenbreitstein”, in MS IX, a vignette based on the engraving, Ehrenbreitstein by Robert Wallis after J. M. W. Turner, first published in the Keepsake for MDCCCXXXIII (see Ehrenbreitstein Fortress [drawing]). Ruskinʼs “own” drawing of the Ehrenbreitstein fortress is unidentified.
“Pines” must also refer to an existing vignette in the section, “Ehrenbreitstein”, in MS IX, the small drawing Pines on Bank of the Rhine. (Ruskinʼs cancelations by striking through these identifiers probably indicates that he considered the drawings completed.)
The sole proposed image in this list that Ruskin did not score through—and therefore, presumably, did not produce—is a vignette of a “tower” by Prout. While this designation is too sketchy to identify with certainty, one may logically suppose that Ruskin remained consistent in relying on Samuel Proutʼs Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany as his source, and that he therefore referred to the lithograph Coblence, the single view of the city included in the portfolio. This was the “specimen print” of “the turreted window over the Moselle, at Coblentz”, mentioned in Praeterita as being on display when Ruskin accompanied his father “into the shop where subscribers entered their names” for Proutʼs volume (Ruskin, Works, 35:79). John Jamesʼs name heads the printed list of subscribers. Here, by specifying “vignette”, Ruskin means that he would form some portion of Proutʼs large rectangular scene into that reduced shape.
The Gothic building on the waterfront in the foreground of Proutʼs picture, which Ruskin calls a “tower” in his list of illustrations, appears to be the Moselle facade of the Schöffenhaus (1528–30, now restored following extensive damage by air raids in 1944). The taller twin towers in the background belong to the nearby Florinskirche, a twelfth‐century Romanesque church, the lines of which in Proutʼs lithograph can be clearly traced in the present‐day church, except for Proutʼs domed roofs, which were replaced in 1899 by the tall pointed spires seen today. These buildings originally formed part of the mercantile and religious center of Gothic Koblenz.
When sketching this scene in Koblenz, Prout may have been interested in the recent history of the Florinskirche, which was secularized in 1803 and made to serve as an armaments magazine during the cityʼs occupation by French Revolutionary troops. Napoleon threatened to convert the church into a municipal slaughterhouse with stalls for animals. Before this desecration could be carried out, the fall of Napoleon resulted in the the city being ceded to Prussia as part of its western province, the Rheinland. The church was then reconsecrated in 1820 as a Protestant parish church—the first in Koblenz—at the behest of the king of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm III (1770–1840), who was dedicated to establishing a uniform Protestant state church throughout his realm. Friedrich Wilhelm was representative of conservative religious orthodoxy in Europe, which prevailed in reaction to Enlightenment thought after the defeat of Revolutionary France (see Bigler, The Politics of German Protestantism, 37–38, 47–49).
See also Drawings from the Tour of 1833 for Ruskinʼs tour sketch from Koblenz, “Part of the Town of Coblentz from the Northern Bank of the Moselle”. The drawing is a panoramic view, anchored on the left by the Schöffenhaus and Florinskirche, and extending to the Alte Burg (Old Castle) and the Balduinbrücke (Baldwin Bridge) on the right.
“Strasburg” (MS VIII)—“The well” by Prout could refer to either of the two plates entitled Strasbourg in Samuel Proutʼs Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany, since both feature public water sources in the foreground of town square scenes. The second plate, however, appears more specifically to depict a well, which is equipped with a pulley and chain set in crossbar. The crossbar is supported by two miniature castellated towers.
“The swiss cottages” is the title of a proposed section of the “Account” in Table 1 of the List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”. That the title is here reduced to apply to an illustration suggests that Ruskin now decided to combine that section with “Strasburg”. The source from which he proposed to derive the illustration of Swiss cottages is unknown; however, since his annotation of this title with an × may suggest that he completed the drawing—especially since he also added the numeral “1” in the margin, meaning that one drawing in this list was accomplished. If extant, the drawing is probably Mountain Scene with Chalet, one of the untitled drawings in the gallery appended to the “Account” in MS IX.
The intention of the fragmentary French phrase “Un de les” (One of the) is unknown, but the following item, “William Tell”, can indeed be found in The Boyʼs Own Book: A Complete Encyclopaedia of All the Diversions, Athletic, Scientific, and Recreative, of Boyhood and Youth (1828) by William Clarke (1800–38). An engraved vignette serving to head the chapter on archery depicts the legendary scene described in the caption: “To save his own and Albertʼs life / Tell is to shoot an apple from the head / Of his own child”. In the foreground, a boy young enough still to be wearing a skirt stands with his back to a tree and an apple on his head, gazing at his father drawing his bow. Why Ruskin placed a reference to the legend of William Tell in the section about Strasbourg is unclear, apart from the itineraryʼs verging on the Black Forest and “Swiss” cottages; indeed, Ruskin himself, in his prose essay for the section, “It was a wide and stretchy sweep of lovely blue champaign”, admits to an unconnected jumble of associations—including William Tell—tumbling unwilled into the speakerʼs mind.
For the origins of the Tell legend in bolstering belief in the Swiss Confederacy as an alternative polity to feudal monarchy, see Church and Head, Concise History of Switzerland, 70–71. Marc H. Lerner has traced the European dissemination of the legend through two distinct interpretations, one favoring resistance to tyranny by popular revolt, and another promoting liberty while accommodating the claims of patrician leadership. In Britain in the second half of the 1820s, the latter interpretation prevailed in a popular play, William Tell (1825) by James Sheridan Knowles (1784–1862) and starring William Charles Macready (1793–1873). This version bestowed a prominent role on Tellʼs son, Albert. In the plot, Lerner explains, Albert leads “a lost and terrified Gessler, the tyrant of Uri, through the mountain passes back to the safety of Altdorf, the cantonʼs main town. Tellʼs son demonstrates the virtue of the entire Tell clan because he does this act of kindness without caring who Gessler is. Gessler is confused by such action and then angered by Tellʼs son when he speaks of virtue. This device of children guiding Gessler to safety out of the mountains and his need to reassert control after his perceived humiliation . . . leads to the apple shot in the village square. . . . The virtue of the young . . . comes shining through as opposed to the corruption of older rulers and the city. . . . Additionally, Tellʼs son is a model of behavior for young readers; the young should act virtuously and prepare to do what is right for their country” (Lerner, “William Tellʼs Atlantic Travels”, 102).
“Schaffhaus[en]” (MS VIII)—For this section, Ruskin noted only that four images were “wanted”, without characterizing their subjects, much less specifying sources in print culture. One notable published image of Schaffhausen that was available to him is an architectural view, whereas Ruskinʼs poems about Schaffhausen are concerned with the mountains that could be viewed from the town rather than with the buildings in it. Clarkson Stanfieldʼs Schaffhausen was engraved by J. T. Willmore from an 1830 sketch and subsequent watercolor for Travelling Sketches in the North of Italy, the Tyrol, and on the Rhine, (Heathʼs Picturesque Annual for 1832). The volumeʼs author, Leitch Ritchie commented that the scene “conveys a very excellent idea of the picturesque and antique appearance of the town” (p. 254 and opp.). Today, critics emphasize the theatricality of the drawing—“a good example of Stanfield at his most stagelike”, an exhibition catalogue comments, pointing to Stanfieldʼs training as stage and diorama scene painter. With the viewpoint centered on a waterway with high buildings on either side, the vista terminating in a bridge with building facades behind it, “the strong contrasting planes of light and shade accentuate an overt stage‐set composition. Save for the presence and movement of the water in the foreground, it would be feasible directly to convert this drawing into a set comprising wings, a profile piece (the bridge and chapel) and a backcloth” (van der Merwe and Took, Spectacular Career of Clarkson Stanfield, 119).
“Fall of the Rhine” (MS VIII)—The “Turner” picture of the Rhine Falls with which Ruskin is likely to have been familiar in 1834 is the engraving by J. B. Allen after J. M. W. Turnerʼs Fall of the Rhine (Rawlinson 329). The engraving was published in the Keepsake for MDCCCXXXIII (p. 288 opp.), the volume also containing Turnerʼs Ehrenbreitstein engraved by Robert Wallis (Rawlinson 328), which Ruskin adapted for his vignette of Ehrenbreitstein Hill and Fortress at Confluence of Rhine and Moselle.
In the Keepsake, Fall of the Rhine is accompanied by an anonymously authored prose essay, “Fall of the Rhine near Schaffhausen” about an excursion to view the falls by moonlight (Reynolds ed., Keepsake for MDCCCXXXIII, 288–91). The scene in Fall of the Rhine shows figures gathered on the west bank of the Rhine, below the cascade; a plume of mist curls upward from the rocks amid the falls, its curve matched by the arc of a rainbow appearing farther below. As in his header vignette for “Ehrenbreitstein”, Ruskin would have had to adapt Turnerʼs broadside rectangular image into a smaller soft‐edged and rounded vignette.
“Constance” (MS VIII)—“Recollection” is unidentified.
“Werdenberg” (MS VIII)—Ruskin possibly planned to invent his own drawings for this section, since two of the scenes correspond to the travelersʼ actual experiences. “Haymakers” corresponds to Mary Richardsonʼs comment that, when stopping for horses before arriving at Werdenberg, the people were “very busy getting in hay”; and that after setting off again, they encountered “a good deal of thunder and lightning accompanied by rain”, making the mountains appear “very grand in the storm”. The family reached Sargans the next morning for breakfast (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, 38).
“On the Rhine” presumably refers to this itinerary after the Ruskins departed from Constance. As the family read in Ebelʼs guidebook, Lake Constance, which ranks as the largest lake in Switzerland, is formed by the Rhine, originating in the mountains. The lake lies in the foothills of the Alps “surrounded by hills covered with vineyards”, although, according to Ebel, “the prospects are not so picturesque as those of Lake Geneva”, the other major lake defining a part of Switzerlandʼs borders. Departing Constance, the Ruskins rode alongside the Rhine, contrary to its flow, toward Werdenberg and Sargans, into the interior of Switzerland (see Ebel, Travellerʼs Guide through Switzerland, 227).
By scoring through this title—unless he meant simply to transfer it to the following section, “Pfaffers”, as “On the Rhine near Tusis”—Ruskin may have indicated that he completed the drawing. The proposed drawing appears to correspond with the subject of River Drawing included in the gallery of unascribed drawings at the end of MS IX.
“Pfaffers” (MS VIII)—If “Ravine” is a title by itself, it may refer to the Tamina Gorge, where the Pfäfers mineral springs were accessed. A source for this image is unidentified. Logically, the following titles, “On the Rhine near Tusis” and “Coire”, should be reversed, since the southern‐bound traveler first reaches Coire (or Chur), followed by the confluence of the Vorderrhein and the Hinterrhein at Reichenau, and finally the Domleschg Valley watered by the Hinterrhein and leading to Thusis (see Ruskinʼs poem “Via Mala” and its contextual glosses).
Specific sources for the latter two illustrations are also unidentified. The final illustration, however, Chateau of Trostberg, is credited to William Brockedonʼs Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps—and yet this scene does not belong here, since it forms part of Brockedonʼs gallery of engravings for the Brenner Pass in the Tyrol. Perhaps Ruskin chose this illustration because it reminded him of the Hohen Rätien Castle in the Domleschg Valley, which occupies a site topographically similar to that of the Trostburg Castle in the Eisack Valley of the southern Tyrol. Of the latter, Brockedon writes: “the situation of Trostberg is very fine, on a rock separated by a ravine from the side of the mountain, but which is connected with it by a part of the building. It stands on a commanding and beautiful spot, whence vineyards sweep down the side of the hill to the banks of the Eisach, which flows in a torrent at its base” (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Pass of the Brenner”, 6, and see pl. 3). Similarly, the Hohen Rätien Castle (named for its association with the legendary Rhaetians, and in nineteenth‐century guidebooks variously called the Castle Realt, Realta, or Rhaalta) stands on a “lofty platform” above the Hinterrhein and the Domleschg Valley, “accessible only from the east: on all other sides the rock is a precipice” (Murray, Hand‐book for Travellers in Switzerland, 206).
Brockedon remarks that, on entering the Via Mala, the traveler can look backward through the high narrow walls of the defile and glimpse the castle ruin beyond the entrance, atop the sheer face of its precipice. This dramatic view is the subject of Brockedonʼs Gallery in the Verlohren Loch, the title‐page vignette for the chapter “The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen” (see Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Pass of the Bernardin”, 7, title page). If Ruskin intended to copy that vignette to illustrate “Via Mala” (see below), his design may have been to present here an approaching view, and there a departing view of the Hohen Rätien Castle.
For “Coire”, Ruskin may also have turned to Brockedon, whose Coire shows “the approach to the city, by the road from the canton of St. Gall” and looks “up the valley of the Rhine” in the direction of Thusis, “clos[ing] with the mountains in which the Rhine has its source”—in other words, toward Hohen Rätien Castle, the Verlohren Loch, and the Via Mala (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Pass of the Bernardin”, 5, pl. 1).
“Passing Alps” (MS VIII)—“Hannibal” presumably refers to Hannibal Passing the Alps, engraved after J. M. W. Turner for Samuel Rogersʼs “The Alps” in the 1830 illustrated edition of Italy (p. 29). The deleted title, “Alps at Daybreak”, refers to Turnerʼs The Alps at Day‐break, the vignette for Rogersʼs poem of that title in the 1834 illustrated edition of Poems (p. 192). It is interesting that Ruskin decided to reject this celebrated plate, since its subject—native Chamonix hunters tracking chamois on the Mer de Glace at dawn—presents a perfect contrast with Hannibalʼs “barbarian” invasion of the Alps with his exotic elephants, a spectacle that Ruskin intensifies in his poem with a sunset rather than sunrise: the dark “foreboding of the storm / When the low suns last light is shed / In glowing streaks of swarthy red”.
“Via Mala” (MS VIII)—If “Brockedon” and “Goats” are separate entries, then the former is likely Gallery in the Verlohren Loch, the title‐page vignette for the chapter “The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen”—the only engraving of the Via Mala in Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps (“The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen”). For “Goats” (or reading as “Brockedon, Goats”), Ruskin may have intended to separate out the foreground scene of ibex standing on a steep rock in Brockedonʼs Glaciers and Source of the Rhone, the ending vignette of “The Grimsel and the Gries” chapter of Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps. The source that Ruskin calls the “coloured plates” is unidentified.
“Splugen” (MS VIII)—“Covered Bridge” is likely Brockedonʼs Covered Bridge across the Rhine at Splugen, the ending vignette for the chapter “The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen” in Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps. In Splügen village, Brockedon explains, the new carriage road to the San Bernardino Pass passed through the village and carried on through the valley, while the road to Splügen Pass carried the traveler away from the village through this covered bridge. “Galleries, coloured” and “Fountain” are unidentified as source images, and their subjects are obscure as well. Respecting galleries, Brockedon mentions “numerous covered ways, of strong masonry, . . . to guard against avalanches” along the road, especially on the descending side (“The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen”, 9, 14). The galleries on the Italian side were at that time, according to Murray, “the longest on any Alpine high road” (Hand‐book for Travellers in Switzerland, 210).
A source image of the “Ravine of Rofla” is unidentified, and the subject is placed out of topographical sequence in this series. The traveler reaches Splügen Village by passing first through the town of Andeer, which connects with Splügen through the defile of Rofla. In the ravine, Brockedon writes, “the Rhine thunders amidst the rocks which check its rapid descent, and falls in two magnificent cataracts. The Rofla is extremely savage and dreary: rocks are strewn in the valley, and the pines which they have brought down, and crushed in their fall, increase the air of desolation. . . . Many sawmills are established in the Rofla for cutting into planks the pines which are felled in the mountains of the Rhinwald [the Rheinwald Valley], and in which an extensive commerce is carried on with Milan by the Splugen [Pass]. Close to a large establishment of sawmills, a slide, similar to that of Alpnach, is constructed” (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen”, 8).
“The summit” (MS VIII)—While Mary Richardson reports that, on the summit of the Splügen Pass, the Ruskins “passed close by a good deal of snow, some of which was as high as our carriage” (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, 41), it was not just the wintry scene that called to Ruskinʼs mind an “arch of snow” in the Lake District; he was illustrating the tale of Charles Gough and his loyal dog that he appended to the poem “The Summit”. Gough fell to his death attempting to traverse Striding Edge, which flanks Helvellyn (see the poemʼs contextual glosses).
“The descent” (MS VIII)—The “Brockedon” likely refers to Scene on the Descent from the Splugen. The purpose of the plate is to show “the line of road” which “presents an extraordinary appearance, particularly near the Casa di Recovero of Tagiate, whence the road is seen winding on the mountain side in a long serpentine track, which appears to return upon the observer, and is then, for some distance, lost in the valley of Isola; it re‐appears, however, and is seen again in some parts of its course through the valley of St. Giacomo [i.e., Valle Spluga], and may be traced far in the depth and distance of Campo Dolcino”. The plate also depicts a man on a horse driving sheep and cattle on the road down the pass, suggesting the “immense flocks of sheep . . . pastured in these Alps in the summer, by Bergamasque shepherds”, and the “bustle and business going forward” in this season at the nearby “Austro‐Lombard custom‐house” (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen”, 14, 13, and see pl. 6; for the hospice of “Tagiate” and the custom house, see also Brockedon, Journals of Excursions in the Alps, 278–79). By 1838, this zig‐zag was abandoned for a shorter route owing to repeated loss of life from avalanches (see Murray, Hand‐book for Travellers in Switzerland, 210).
The source of a “coloured” image of “Passage of Cardinell” is unidentified. The place itself (also Kardinell, Cardinells, Cardinello Gorge) was known to the Ruskins only by reputation, since the new carriage road bypassed this “dreadful defile” and “dangerous pass”, although its bridle path could still be accessed from Isola. The gorge had most recently gained notoriety as the scene of heavy losses to the French Revolutionary army under Napoleonʼs Scottish general, Etienne‐Jacques‐Joseph‐Alexandre Macdonald, “who crossed the Splügen between the 27th November and 4th December, 1800, long before the new road was begun, in the face of snow and storm, and other almost insurmountable obstacles”, costing “nearly 100 men and as many horses, chiefly in the passage of the Cardinell. His columns were literally cut through by the falling avalanches, and man and beast swept over to certain annihilation in the abyss below” (Murray, Hand‐book for Travellers in Switzerland, 210; see also Ebel, Travellerʼs Guide through Switzerland, 333; Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen”, 14).
“Cascade”: no source image identified. Mary Richardson wrote that “a short distance from Chiavenna we passed a fine waterfall, it must have been 300 feet high”. Since she provides no other details about the ride from the Austrian‐Lombard customs house to the arrival at Chiavenna, the location of the waterfall is conjectural. Coming down from the mountain and entering the “ravine of the upper valley of St. Giacomo”, as Brockedon describes, the family would have passed the Cascada di Pianazzo, formed by “the torrent of the Pianazza [i.e., the Scalcoggia] falling into the Lira”; “seen from the ravine”, Brockedon goes on, “its upper part intercepts the sky, from which it appears to be continually pouring”. Writing in 1838, Murray regretted that, as one consequence of changing the course of the road since 1834, it now crossed above the falls, thus depriving travelers of this view that the Ruskins would have enjoyed (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Passes of the Bernardin and the Splugen”, 14; Murray, Hand‐book for Travellers in Switzerland, 210–11).
For “Vineyards of Chiavenna”, see “Oh softly blew the morning breeze” [“Chiavenna”] and contextual glosses; no source image is identified.
“Como” (MS VIII)—The location of “Sketch on lake of Chiavenna with boat” is today known as Lago di Mezzola; see “Lago di Como” and glosses. Ruskinʼs term sketch suggests his own travel sketch rather than a plate to be copied. No sketch definitely identified with this subject from 1833 is currently known, but a possible candidate for the resulting vignette is Lake Scene with Building on Piers Drawing, from among the gallery of unassigned vignettes placed at the end of the MS IX fair copy of the “Account”. The small passenger boat in the vignette suggests the rowboat that carried the Ruskins from Lago di Mezzola to Damaso at the north end of Lago di Como, where they embarked on a steamer to Cadenabbia.
“Como from Stanfield” presumably refers to an engraving after Clarkson Stanfield. One scene, Le Lac de Como, engraved on steel by Robert Wallis and published in the Keepsake français for 1831, is set above the rooftops of a lakeside settlement, looking across the water to another town. In the foreground, an ornate stairway and balustrade, apparently belonging to a villa, stages a figure group in Italian costume—two women playing music, and a man listening (Keepsake français . . . 1831, 214 opp.). A different scene in an 1825 painting, Lake Como, presents a less elegant group in the foreground—a plainly dressed couple with a basket, seated on the bare ground of the shore—while boatmen are busy surrounding a common village in the middle distance.
In the 1826 depiction of Lago di Como, the emphasis is on the lake as an Alpine feature with its surrounding mountains, rather than on the sophistication of the Italian lakeside villa—the result of Stanfieldʼs first tour of the Alps, which he took in 1824 in the company of William Brockedon (van der Merwe and Took, Spectacular Career of Clarkson Stanfield, 115). This painting, which is now part of the Tate Britain collection, was engraved by John Cousen (1804–80), whose career as steel engraver specializing in landscape had begun by the 1830s, but further research is required to determine when and for what venue he executed the print of this easel painting (see Dafforne, Pictures by Clarkson Stanfield, 34 opp.).
Ruskinʼs remaining note for this section, “Small part town” is not only unidentified but enigmatic. The phrase might annotate the Stanfield picture, meaning that Ruskin intended to use only a “small part” of it—namely, the view of the “town” across the water. Either of the Como pictures identified here would lend themselves to that treatment; indeed, Ruskinʼs figure‐drawing skill would probably have been unequal to imitating the foreground figures in the 1831 print.
“Cadenab[b]ia” (MS VIII)—For Rogersʼs Italy, Turner drew the vignette Lake of Como to accompany Rogersʼs poem “Como”, which is set in Bellagio, although Turnerʼs picture can be read as spanning the water between Bellagio and Cadenabbia (Italy, 32).
By 1834, two major illustrated publications answered to the description “Lord Byron”. One, the seventeen‐volume Works of Lord Byron (1832–33), with plates by Turner, Stanfield, and others, contains no view of Lake Como. The second, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron (1833), engraved by the Finden brothers, William and Edward, after numerous artists, does include a plate, Bellagio, Lago di Como, drawn by Henry Gastineau (ca. 1790–1876). The plate accompanies an 1816 letter by Byron to his publisher, John Murray II, describing his crossing of the Simplon, travel along the Lago di Maggiore road, and stay in Milan. Gastineauʼs plate is not interesting, except in positioning ordinary people near a common church and bell tower in the foreground. The Ruskins acquired Letters and Journals in December 1833 (see Moore, ed., Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, 2:263 opp., 263–66; Dearden, Library of John Ruskin, 231–32).
A drawing of Lecco could not be based on personal experience, since the Ruskins did not visit the town, but they did cross over to the eastern leg of the lake, which Mary Richardson learned to call the “Lake of Lecco” (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, 43). By copying Brockedonʼs plate Lecco, Ruskin was able to reference this experience, since Brockedonʼs plate is a representation less of Lecco itself than of the lake and the “high mountain” opposite the town “which sinks abruptly to the lake” and which “is seen . . .from Milan”—Resegone, which Ruskin calls “Lecco mountains” in his poem “Cadenabbia”. From Brockedonʼs text, Ruskin would have learned to understand this side of the lake as a terminus of the Stelvio Pass, which the Austrians constructed as a military and commercial route to Milan (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Pass of the Monte Stelvio”, 89, pl. 5).
The “beginning of Rogers memory” probably refers to Samuel Rogersʼs poem The Pleasures of Memory, which in the 1834 illustrated Poems begins with a half‐title page for part 1 of the poem, opposite a plate by J. M. W. Turner, A Garden, engraved by William Miller. Presenting a fountain on an elaborate terrace with a semicircular balustrade, the garden scene is suggestively Italianate. In contrast, the artistʼs plate that heads the beginning of the poem per se, A Village, positions the spectator on a hill overlooking a familiarly English village with its pointed Gothic church and a neoclassical manor house in the distance. Enhancing the Italian feel of A Garden, Rogersʼs half‐title page also carries an epigraph from Petrarch, although the lines suggest a scene more akin to the English scene than to the Italianate garden: “Dolce sentier, . . . / Colle, che mi piacesti, . . . / Ovʼancor per usanza Amor mi mena; / Ben riconosco in voi lʼusate forme, / Non, lasso, in me” (Sweet lane . . . / Hill that pleased me . . . / Where my old custom Love can still entice, / I recognize in you the usual traces, / But not in me) (Rogers, Poems, 2, 7, 3; Petrarch, Canzonieri, 301 [“Valle che deʼ lamenti miei seʼ piena”], in Sonnets and Songs, trans. Armi, 422–23).
“Villa plin[iana]” (MS VIII)—“Villa Poro” is unidentified. The Ruskins visited several villas, all of which can be identified, as they rowed south from Cadenabbia, following the eastern shore of the lake toward the city of Como, and then crossed to the western shore near the city in order to view villas along the Via Regina. Along this passage or anywhere else along Lake Como, a villa named “Poro” has so far gone undetected in English guidebooks published in the first half of the nineteenth century. It is possible that, on the subsequent journey from Como to Milan, the Ruskins encountered a place associated with the noble Lombard family, Porro. According to Mary Richardson, this drive lasted four‐and‐a‐half hours, which is precisely the time allowed in an 1836 guidebook for the shortest coach journey—a twenty‐five mile route passing through Barlassina, which traverses the Brianza region, associated with the Porro family (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, 46; Mazzoni, The Travellerʼs Guide of Milan, 87–89).
The waterfall “Cascata di Nesso” (published image unidentified) is a memory of the “first place we stopped at after leaving Cadenabbia”, as Mary Richardson wrote in her diary, noting that the family was fortunate to encounter the falls in full force, a “fine body of water”. Falling “straight between two rocks” that “rise so perpendicularly and so near each other that the sun never reaches the bottom”, the cascade chilled the travelers “when we went in between the rocks”. Continuing south, the Ruskins stopped at a succession of villas: Villa Pliniana, the subject of Ruskinʼs poem; Villa La Roda or Villa Pasta (now demolished), belonging to the singer Giuditta Pasta (1797–1865), but which Mary confused with the Villa Tanzi in Perlasca, near Torno; Villa dʼEste in Cernobbio, where Queen Caroline (1768–1821) lived for a time on her travels prompted by her quarrels with the Prince Regent, and where the Ruskins were “shocked” to be told that she had converted the villa chapel into a theater; and Villa Odescalchi (a.k.a., Villa Olmo), designed by the neoclassical architect Simone Cantoni (1736–1818) (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, 44–45).
“Prouts port of Como” might refer to either of two plates of Como published in The Tourist in Switzerland and Italy (1830), by Thomas Roscoe and illustrated by Samuel Prout. In one, Como, engraved by J. T. Willmore (p. 137 opp.), the view is taken from the lake, looking south to the city, which extends across the shoreline; in the other, Lake of Como, engraved by William Miller (frontispiece), the view is taken from the shore near a pier where boats are gathered. In Como, the right side of the picture (the west side of the city) is dominated by the “conical hill, on whose highest summit are the scattered ruins of an ancient castle”—Castello Baradello, with its “lofty square turret still crowning the top” (Mazzoni, The Travellerʼs Guide of Milan, 93)—and on the left side of the picture (the east side of the city) the Rococo cupola of the Duomo is conspicuous, with its Gothic nave extending parallel to the plate. In the foreground, fishermen throw their nets from a boat, which is anchored near a stone pier. In Lake of Como, the scene looks out to the lake from the town, the vantage point being from the eastern side of town beneath the castle ruin. The Castello Baradello is not visible, but a hill nearer the shore appears on the left. Close to shore, boats huddle behind a stone breakwater, and stairs lead up walls bordering the water to a large building with balconies. This picture seems the likelier source for Ruskinʼs “port of Como”, although the scene does not clearly conform to an 1847 guidebook description of “the little port of Como” as “formed by two piers, each ending in a square pavilion” (Maule, Hand‐book for Travellers in Northern Italy, 135).
In Ruskinʼs final image selected for this section, Como, from the Road to Erba, William Brockedon illustrates the final stretch of the route descending from the Stelvio Pass—“the great military road over Monte Stelvio, by which the Emperor of Austria . . . opened, across the Alps, a new line of communication between his German and his Italian states, . . . a work of great political importance, as it will enable him . . . to descend directly upon Milan, without violating the territory or infringing the privileges of any other government in his line of march”. For Brockedon, the plate describes the end of this route in “the approach to Como . . . one of the most beautiful views in which this city is an object”. For the Ruskins, a vista like this of Como would have formed a receding view, as they drove away from the city, southeast toward Milan. Brockedon explains the plate, in which Como “is seen, far below the vineyards which skirt the road [in the foreground of the picture], deeply embosomed in the mountains; the Duomo, and part of the city of Como, are seen bordering the lake, which in this view is almost hidden by the surrounding hills [blocking the view of the lake as it extends to the right, i.e. northern, edge of the scene]. On the left is the monastery of San Salvatore, in a commanding situation [in the middle distance, on an eminence above the road]; and above Como are its conical hills, surmounted by castellated ruins [i.e., Castello Baradello, on the same line of vision as the monastery, but far beyond that towered building]. Beyond the hills which surround the lake, the Alps are seen stretching across the horizon, and conspicuous among these is the beautiful form of Monte Rosa” (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Pass of the Monte Stelvio”, 1, 12, pl. 6).
Although Brockedonʼs vista of Como is taken east of the city, and therefore would not have been visible to the Ruskins as they departed Como—heading south, most likely on the road to Barlassina, as explained above—Ruskin chose the plate well as an approximate intersection with their route, which would have curved around the hill topped by Castello Baradello. In Brockedonʼs opinion, the new road that led to this vista of Como, descending from the Stelvio and running through the Valtellina to the northern shore of Lake Como, when completed would “probably offer to the traveller the most beautiful route in Europe for its extent” along the lakeshore to Lecco and curving around the bottom of the lake toward Como (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Pass of the Monte Stelvio”, 11).
“Milan” (MS VIII)—It appears that Ruskin started to list “the cathed[al]” as an illustration for the section “Milan”, but deleted the entry because he remembered he had already planned “The duomo of Milan” as forming a separate section on its own, following “Milan”. He may also have decided that the two following sections, “The duomo of Milan” and “The corso of Milan”, would take the place of “Milan”, but nothing prevents the possibility that he still expected to produce the full complement of materials for all three sections. Ruskin identifies no subjects or sources of illustrations for “Milan”.
“The duomo” (MS VIII)—The sources of images of Milan Cathedral are not identified. Available to Ruskin was an engraving after a drawing by Samuel Prout, Milan Cathedral, engraved by William Wallis (b. 1796) for The Tourist in Switzerland and Italy (Jenningsʼs Landscape Annual for 1830), by Thomas Roscoe (p. 117 opp.). The view is taken from the piazza in front of the west front of the church, presenting the facade in full sunlight to accentuate its white marble, set off by shadowy arcaded rows of building on the north and south side of the piazza. An engraving of the interior after a drawing by J. D. Harding could be found as the frontispiece of The Tourist in Italy (Jenningsʼs Landscape Annual for 1832), also by Thomas Roscoe. Engraved by Thomas Higham (1795–1844), Milan Cathedral—Interior emphasizes the massiveness of the altar and choir, with the bronze pulpits encircling the pillars, dwarfing the worshipers and clergy.
“The corso” (MS VIII)—“The town with cathedral recollected” is unidentified. Ruskin may refer to a title of an engraving or to a program of sketches for himself.
“Appenines” (MS VIII)—Printed sources for views of the Mediterranean or of the Appenines are unidentified. A sheet of pen‐and‐ink drawings made by Ruskin during the 1833 journey, now held by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and catalogued as Six Swiss and Italian Views, contains five landsape vignettes that Ruskin may have intended to cut into separate slips and paste into their respective places in MS IX includes a mountain and water scene labeled “In the Apennines[.] Road from Novi to Genoa”.
“Domo dʼOssola” (MS VIII)—Of the items in the list of proposed illustrations corresponding to the entry for “Domo dʼOssola”, the first, “Isola bella”, was likely the drawing realized as the untitled Lakeside with Terraced Villa, included in the gallery of drawings inserted at the end of the MS IX fair copy of the “Account”. This drawing depicts with considerable accuracy the terraced gardens on Isola Bella, viewed from the side of the island opposite its palace. Ruskinʼs drawing appears influenced by J. M. W. Turnerʼs vignettes for the 1830 illustrated edition of Samuel Rogersʼs Italy, such as A Villa (Villa Madama—Moonlight) or Lake of Como. The former illustrates Rogersʼs poem, “The Feluca” (a poem set near Genoa, on the seacoast, not on the lakes); and the latter illustrates Rogersʼs closing poem, “A Farewell” (a poem composed, according to Rogersʼs footnote, at Susa, in the mountains above Turin, again not on the lakes) (see Piggott, Turnerʼs Vignettes, 98).
What Ruskin means by the second entry in the list of proposed illustrations, “Rogers”, is mysterious, since the annotation sits between “Isola Bella” and “Domo dʼOssola” and might refer to either place—yet neither of which places is illustrated in Samuel Rogersʼs 1830 Italy.
Next, for the view of Domo dʼOssola, Ruskin is at pains to distinguish between two engravings in Brockedonʼs Illustrations, reserving the other for the following section, “Farewell to Italy”. Since he specifies “(not from defile of Simplon)”, he must mean here the engraving, Domo dʼOssola, from Saint Marco. In Brockedon's tours, this view lies along a route from Switzerland to Italy via the pass of Gries, which was accessible only by mule—“a less known” but “more direct route to Domo dʼOssola”, Brockedon says, “from Obergestelen, a village in the Haut‐Valais”, and presenting “scenes of wildness and grandeur . . . no where exceeded in the Alps”. Although this passage lay out of the Ruskinsʼ way, Ruskinʼs choice of engraving credibly suggests the familyʼs departing view of Domo dʼOssola on their way to the Simplon Pass, since Brockedon situates it near the end of the Gries route where “the road . . . falls into the great route of the Simplon” (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Grimsel and the Gries”, 1, 12). For another example of Ruskinʼs adaptation of an illustration from Brockedonʼs chapter, “The Grimsel and the Gries”, see “Brieg”.
Ruskinʼs “My own view with crags” is unidentified.
For Ritchie, Travelling Sketches in the North of Italy, the Tyrol, and on the Rhine, which was Heathʼs Picturesque Annual for 1832, Clarkson Stanfield likewise drew views both of Domo dʼOssola and Lago Maggiore. The former shows a view of the town from the bridge leading to it and the mountains beyond; and the latter view looks out over the Borromean Islands from a villa on the shore of the lake, with Isola Bella especially prominent with its palace and gardens (pp. 81 opp., 116 opp.). The bookʼs title page vignette gives a near view of the Borromeo palace on the lake, which contrasts with the frontispiece opposite, Klumm, a scene of a rugged hill castle in the Tyrolean valley of the Inn River, near Innsbruck.
“Farewell [to Italy]” (MS VIII)—By specifying a view of Domo dʼOssola “from deflie”, Ruskin means the second of two engravings that name that town in Brockedonʼs Illustrations—namely, Val dʼOssola from the Defile of the Dovedro. (For Ruskinʼs use of the other engraving, see the preceding section, Domo dʼOssola.) The sceneʼs foreground situates the traveler on the road from the pass, descending to the serene and cultivated plain of Italy, which impressively bursts “upon the traveller at the end of his journey through the savage defile of the Dovedro [i.e., Diveria River]”, Brockedon writes. (In Ruskinʼs adaptation, the traveler would be bidding farewell to this scene, ascending the road toward the defile.) The glimpse of Domo dʼOssola includes a span of the Ponte di Crevola, then considered “one of the finest structures in the world . . . raised 100 feet high” above the Dovedro, and a frequent subject for artists (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Simplon”, 14).
Ruskin follows this parting view of Domo dʼOssola scene with a “vignette” of the “Entrance to Gondo Gallery”—that is, Brockedonʼs title‐page vignette, The Great Gallery near Gondo, for the Simplon chapter of Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps. As Brockedon describes the scene, “a place” in the Val Divedro, “where a bridge leads from the right to the left bank of the Dovedro [Diveria]”, is traversed by “a gallery, cut through the granite, 596 English feet long, which at the opening on the Italian side crosses the waterfall of the Frassinone [Cascata di Frassinone]” (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Simplon”, 12, title page). Ruskinʼs copy of the vignette survives among the untitled drawings gathered at the end of the MS IX fair copy of the “Account”; see Mountain Gorge Drawing [Entrance to Gondo Gorge].
“Glaciers” (MS VIII)—The illustration after William Brockedon, “Defile of Dovedro looking back”, probably refers to Defile of the Dovedro [i.e., Diveria River] near Gondo. Ruskin probably intended to reverse the direction of the travelers in Brockedonʼs picture, so that they approached the viewer, “looking back” to Gondo as did the Ruskins, traveling away from Italy toward the Swiss side of the Simplon.
Ruskinʼs source for a drawing of the “Bernese Alps from Simplon” is probably Brockedonʼs The Bernese Alps from the Simplon. Brockedon comments: “The scene from the summit is very magnificent”; approaching from the Swiss side, “between the Schalbet and the glacier galleries, the eye can descend to Naters, a village in the valley of the Rhone, and rise to the prodigious peaks which pinnacle the range of the Bernese Alps”. Further on, “the magnificent peaks of the Breithorn, the Jungfrau, and the Monch [Mönch], form with their glaciers, over the deep valley of the Saltine, one of the finest scenes in this range of the Alps” (Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Simplon”, 10). The Schalbet is a gallery of the Simplon Road drilled through one hundred feet of rock; for John Murray III, the name also referred to a desolate gorge above that gallery, closer to the summit. The Saltine [i.e., Saltina] is an Alpine river, leading down to Brig at the foot of the Simplon, and rising according to Brockedon “in the glaciers of the Schonhorn, whence torrents descend . . . led through finely constructed aqueducts . . . beneath the [Simplon] road . . . [to] fall into the ravine below”. What Brockedon intends by the “Schonhorn” is not clear, but Murray locates the source of the river in the Kaltwasser Glacier on Monte Leone above the Glacier Galleries that Brockedon likewise describes (Murray, Hand‐book for Travellers in Switzerland, 159; Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Simplon”, 9; and see the 1822 lithographs by James Pattison Cockburn (1779–1847), Gallery of Schalbet, Swiss Side and Gallery of the Glaciers, Italian Side in Cockburn, Views to Illustrate the Route of the Simplon).
The poem “An Adventure” by Samuel Rogers relates the abduction of the poetʼs persona by banditti, who march him into the hills to await ransom. The ordeal frames another tale by one of the banditti. The vignette after J.M.W. Turner, which illustrates this poem and which Ruskin proposed to copy for “The Glaciers”, is entitled “Banditti” (see Piggott, Turnerʼs Vignettes, 98, 36). It depicts a group of bandits huddled on an eminence in the foreground, overlooking a mountainside road, which presumably they are scouting for prey. The road snakes toward them alongside a gorge, through which a torrent pours from a great height. The scene may well have reminded Ruskin of the waterfall of the Frassinone in the Gondo Gorge or other torrents along the Simplon Road (see “Farewell to Italy”); however, the setting of Rogersʼs story or of Turnerʼs vignette is unspecified.
“Brieg” (MS VIII)—“My recollection” is unidentified. “The glaciers of the Rhone” was probably to be based on Glaciers and Source of the Rhone by William Brockedon for “The Grimsel and the Gries” section of his Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps. Brockedonʼs drawing, which was engraved as the closing vignette in his gallery of illustrations for these two passes, exhibits “the first view of these glaciers” encountered along the Grimsel Pass, “the most striking in which they can be seen, because their entire mass is observed, from the summit to the base. . . . The source of the Rhone is usually visited from below, where the nearest mass intercepting the highest, leaves an impression greatly inferior to that which the vast whole produces” (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Grimsel and the Gries”, 7).
Just as in his proposed adaptation of another plate from “The Grimsel and the Gries”, Domo dʼOssola, from Saint Marco, which he projected for use in the section, “Domo dʼOssola”, Ruskin finds in Brockendon a source for illustrating Brig that is convincing in geographic terms, since this village at the foot of the Simplon presented the Ruskins with their first view of the upper Rhône, which descends from the Rhône Glacier. In 1833, however, the Ruskins did not witness Brockendonʼs view of the glacier, which was out of their way along the route through the Grimsel Pass, an excursion accessible only on foot and by mule. Even during the Tour of 1835, when the Ruskins undertook the strenuous and dangerous climb to the Hospice of the Grimsel from Meyringen on 24–27 August, they did not see this view of the glacier, which is visible only from the Valais side of the pass. If they had any intention at that time of continuing over the pass to the Valais side, the plan was thwarted by a snowstorm, which confined them indoors until they could turn back to Meyringen (Hanley and Hull, ed., John Ruskinʼs Continental Tour 1835, 94, 294).
Brockedon comments that the inclusion of the Grimsel in his Illustrations may seem scarcely justified since access to the pass is difficult and it lacks association with “events of historical importance”. Nonetheless, in summer, excursions to the Grimsel rewarded tourists with remarkable “picturesque scenery”. Starting from the town of Meyringen (Meiringen) in the Aar River valley of the Oberhasli, excursions were popular not only to the hospice near the pass but also to magnificent waterfalls, such as the Handek (Handegg) Falls and Reichenbach Falls (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Grimsel and the Gries”, 1–2, 4, 5). In 1835, Ruskin was especially impressed by the Handek Falls, which he declared “the very finest fall in Switzerland, not excepting the fall of the . . . Rhine”, although he allowed the caveat that “there is no occasion to disparage . . . [the Rhine Falls] in order to praise the Handek whose beauty indeed is rather of a different Character than of a superior degree” (Hanley and Hull, ed., John Ruskinʼs Continental Tour 1835, 89–90).
“Tourtman” (MS VIII)—Whether meant as one drawing or two, “Waterfall, my volcano view” is unidentified. Presumably, the subject of the waterfall drawing refers to a cascade that presented a minor tourist attraction in Turtmann; see “Tourtman” in Plan for Continuation of the Account of a Tour on the Continent (Table 1).
“Martigny” (MS VIII)—The proposed illustration “Rogers” likely refers to the vignette, Martigny, engraved after J. M. W. Turner for Rogersʼs Italy. The vignette forms a tailpiece for Rogersʼs poem, “Marguerite de Tours”, complementing that poemʼs headpiece, Aosta, since the poem tells the brief history of a woman born in the Val dʼAosta, on the Italian side of the Great St. Bernard Pass, and married to an inhabitant of Martigny, on the Swiss side (see The Influence of Rogersʼs Poetry on Ruskinʼs Planned Extension of the Composite‐Genre Travelogue to Italy and Switzerland).
“The valley of Rhone above, Martigny from Brockedon” refers to Brockedonʼs The Valley of the Rhone, above Martigny, the first plate (after the chapter title vignette) for the “Pass of the Great Saint Bernard” chapter of Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps. In Brockedonʼs text, the plate orients the reader to Martigny as a hub for travelers coming to and from various directions: “The scene from the old castle of Martigny [the solitary architectural feature in the plate] is very fine, particularly looking up the valley of the Rhone. In this direction the view extends to the Mount Saint Gothard”: that is, looking east, extending through the Rhône valley in the direction from which the Ruskins had traveled from Brig, the vista is closed by the Saint Gotthard massif, which rises even beyond the mountain glacier source of the Rhône. “[D]own the valley”, Brockedon continues, “the scene is bounded by the Jura”: that is, looking north, extending in the other direction taken by the Rhône (not shown in the plate), from where the river turns sharply at Martigny to flow toward Lake Geneva, the vista is closed by the Jura mountains. “[I]n the direction of the mountains of the Great Saint Bernard”, Brockedon concludes, “the eye commands the town of Martigny, and the estuary of the Drance”: that is, looking south, one overlooks the main part of Martigny, where the Dranse joins the Rhône. The river issues from the Val dʼEntremont, which leads to the pass of the Great St. Bernard” (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Great Saint Bernard”, 1–2).
Both the Turner and the Brockedon views feature the castle of La Bâtiaz, built by a bishop of Sion in the early thirteenth century, and continually contested between the bishopric of Sion and the House of Savoy until the castle was ruined in the early sixteenth century. Brockedonʼs view differs from Turnerʼs, however, in framing the castle on its eminence, dominating the right side of the composition as a solitary, ruined watch tower overlooking the distant, eastern expanse of the Rhône valley, and with only goats and wild foliage occupying the foreground, whereas Turnerʼs picture is a sociable scene of the city with the tower rising in the distance. Serving as a tailpiece to Rogersʼs poem, “Marguerite de Tours”, Turnerʼs vignette introduces figures, as do Thomas Stothardʼs genre scenes that normally occupy this tailpiece position for illustrations. Turnerʼs view looks west to the castle tower from the entrance to the town, the near scene busy with the accommodation of tourists: members of a seated group of women and children gaze back of the viewer, as if welcoming the visitor with the provisions by their side; a carriage enters the town, its postilion riding the pair of horses and pointing the way into the high street; the nearest building advertises itself on the wall facing the viewer as “LA CYGNE”, a “LOGE À PIED ET À CHEVAL” (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Great Saint Bernard”, plate 1; Rogers, Italy , 28).
The detail of the innʼs name echoes the end of Rogersʼs poem—“I will not forget / Thy hospitable roof, Marguerite de Tours; / Thy sign the silver swan”—but it also points to a hidden darkness amidst Turnerʼs cheerful scene. As Jan Piggott has found, the host of that inn, who was fondly remembered by travelers, was drowned in the flood of 1818 that destroyed a large portion of Martigny. In 1834, when compiling his plan for illustration, Ruskin could have found a eulogy for “the landlord of the Swan Inn” as part of an account of the Martigny flood included in Jenningʼs Landscape Annual for 1830, published the same year as the illustrated Italy (Piggott, Turnerʼs Vignettes, 37; Roscoe, The Tourist in Switzerland and Italy, 77). If Ruskin missed these connections at that time, he noted years later in reference to this illustration that La Cygne was Turnerʼs preferred inn when based in Martigny (Ruskin, Catalogue of the Turner Sketches in the National Gallery [part 1 (1857)], in Ruskin, Works, 13:203).
Ruskin would also have known a plate by Samuel Prout, Martigny, for Jenningʼs Landscape Annual for 1830. The scene is much closer than Turnerʼs to the tower of La Bâtiaz. Whereas Turnerʼs vignette features the lively tourist accommodations on the Simplon road, Proutʼs plate dwells on the picturesque textures of humble, roughly patched chalets beneath the symbolic memorial to ruined power towering above them (Roscoe, The Tourist in Switzerland and Italy, 73 opp.). This scene lay within the compass of the main town of Martigny (I am grateful to Daniela Vaj for this information). As John Murray III explains, Martigny “consist[ed] of two parts—the one situated on the Simplon road”, which served as “the constant resort of travellers”, and which presumably is represented by Turnerʼs bustling scene; and “the other, Bourg de Martigny”, which lay “more than a mile distant up the valley of the Dranse” (Murray, Hand‐book for Travellers in Switzerland, 155). Brockedon, with his usual distaste for whatever could not be accommodated to the picturesque or sublime, calls the Bourg “a narrow dirty village”, which he regrets that travelers were compelled “to traverse”, “after leaving the inn at Martigny, where travellers usually rest”, in order to connect with the road ascending to the pass of the Great St. Bernard (Brockedon, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, “The Great Saint Bernard”, 2). Proutʼs humble scene, however, also does not show Bourg de Martigny.