Statue of a Newfoundland standing on a serpent on a fruit encrusted pillar?
April 10, 2006 8:07 PM   Subscribe

In Fors Clavigera, Letter V. (written in 1871), John Ruskin posts the following description of a piece of Victorian sculpture (which he goes on to castigate):

"Statue in black and white marble, a Newfoundland Dog standing on a serpent, which rests on a marble cushion, the pedestal ornamented with pietra dura fruits in relief.-English. Present Century."

Does anyone know where I might find an image of this monstrosity? It was at what was called the Kensington Museum in Ruskin's day (now apparently the Victoria and Albert?), so I may make an inquiry there, but I thought I'd check the hive mind first.
posted by PinkStainlessTail to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Actually, reading that again, the piece isn't necessarily Victorian, just 19th century British.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:13 PM on April 10, 2006

Not a definitive answer, but I would consult these two books and they should help.
posted by cushie at 8:41 PM on April 10, 2006

Response by poster: I think it's outside of the period covered there: the statue is from 1871 at the latest, and the books you mention go back to 1877 at the earliest. They do look interesting though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:56 PM on April 10, 2006

Best answer: Bingo.

And yes, it's breathtakingly ugly.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:51 PM on April 10, 2006

'Breathtakingly ugly'? I think it's rather wonderful, in an over-the-top baroque sort of way.

There's an article on 'The Story of the Marble Dog' in Country Life, vol. 122 (21 Nov 1957) p. 1085.
posted by verstegan at 3:59 AM on April 11, 2006

Response by poster: Ah-hah: I tried using their main search and just got a bunch of links for a painting by Landseer. Didn't think to check out the collection links for a more indepth search. Thanks!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 4:09 AM on April 11, 2006

Best answer: Black and white Newfies are now called "Landseers."
posted by jamjam at 8:52 AM on April 11, 2006

Response by poster: I am also marking jamjam as best answer because that is an absolutely fascinating tidbit.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:41 AM on April 11, 2006

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