“The Meuse” Drawing 2 of 2
The editors of the Library Edition describe the image as a “a full‐page illustration of a courtyard, with a pillared corridor, steps etc.” (Ruskin, Works, 2:350 n. 2).
The drawing is a copy of Palais du Prince, Liège, by Samuel Prout (1783–1852), in Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany (1833). The scene is set inside the Renaissance arcade (the “Court of Honor”) of the Palais des Princes‐Évêques in Liège, constructed under the patronage of the prince‐bishop, Érard de la Marck (1472–1538, ruled 1506–38). Ruskin has not made a vignette from Proutʼs scene; rather, by using a full page of MS IX and setting the drawing broadside, he is imitating the scale as well as stylistic features of Proutʼs original lithograph.
In an 1828 tour account by John Barrow (1764–1848), a description of the palace suggests the picturesque scene inside the arcade that captured Proutʼs imagination: “an imposing old edifice, though somewhat heavy, with an interior quadrangle containing the public offices and records, and several courts for civil and provincial affairs” (the prince‐bishopric having succumbed to the French Republic even before the Belgian Revolution of 1830). “The columns supporting the arcade are short and thick, having very much of the Moorish character. Under the arcade are little cells or shops, in which small articles of daily use of every description are exposed for sale” (Family Tour through South Holland, 239). Ruskinʼs cousin, Mary Richardson, mentions the family visiting the palace on 23 May 1833 (Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, p. 11).