“Cologne ” Drawing 1 of 1
The editors of the Library Edition describe the image as a “a sketch of Cologne: the Rhine, bridge, and unfinished cathedral in the distance; in the foreground to the left, tower and shipping” (Ruskin, Works, 2:351 n. 3).
The drawing is a copy of Cologne, by Samuel Prout (1783–1852), from Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany (1833). Proutʼs lithograph depicts a river scene, dominated by the thirteenth‐century Bayenturm, the southern watch tower and city gate of the medieval city wall. Ruskin omits the foreground figures sitting on the wharf in Proutʼs scene, and he eliminates much of the wharf itself, which strongly defines the horizontal axis of Proutʼs foreground. Ruskin does pick up from Prout, however, the old bridge of boats extending horizontally across the river from the vicinity of the cathedral, defining the north horizon of the picture. At the same time, he brings closer the distant buildings in the north along the river, rendering Cologne Cathedral more distinct. Ruskin sketches the medieval crane that stood atop the southern tower of the cathedral for centuries. The silhouette of the cathedral shows the phase at which construction was suspended from the fourteenth through the mid‐nineteenth centuries, from the completion of the Gothic choir in 1322 to the resumption of construction of the south towers in 1842–80.
Clarkson Stanfield chose a view similar to Proutʼs for the title‐page vignette, Cologne, for Heathʼs Picturesque Annual for 1833. Fishermen sit on the wharf repairing nets, with the Bayenturm to their left, and the city behind them—its medieval landmarks distinct on the skyline (Ritchie, Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, and in Belgium and Holland, title page).