Excerpt from The Works of John Ruskin, M.A: The Seven Lamps of Architecture; Lectures on Architecture and Painting; The Study of Architecture; Sesame and Lilies; Unto This Last; The Queen of the Air; The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century
Every apology is, however, due to the reader, for the hasty and immrfect execution of the plates. Having much more serious work in hand, and desiring merely to render them illustrative of my meaning, I have sometimes very completely failed even of that humble aim and the text, being generally written before the illustration was completed, sometimes naively describes as sublime or beautiful, features which the plate represents by a blot. I shall be grateful if the reader will in such cases refer the expressions of praise to the Archi tecture, and not to the illustration.
So far, however, as their coarseness and rudeness admit, the plates are valuable being either copies of memoranda made upon the spot, or (plates IX. And enlarged and adapted from Daguerreotypes, taken under my own superin tendence. Unfortunately, the great distance from the ground of the window which is the subject of Plate IX. Renders even the Daguerreotype indistinct; and I cannot answer for the accuracy of any of the mosaic details, more especially of those which surround the window, and which I rather imagine, in the original, to be sculptured in relief. The general propor tions are, however, studiously preserved the spirals of the shafts are counted, and the effect of the whole is as near that of the thing itself, as is necessary for the purposes of illustr. Tion for which the plate is given. For the accuracy of the rest I can answer, even to the cracks in the stones, and the number of them; and though the looseness of the drawing, and the picturesque character which is necessarily given by an endeavor to draw old buildings as they actually appear, may perhaps diminish their credit for architectural veracity, they will do so unjustly.
The system of lettering adopted in the few instances in which sections have been given, appears somewhat obscure in the references, but it is convenient upon the whole. The line which marks the direction of any section is noted, if the sec tion be symmetrical, by a single letter; and the section itself by the same letter with a line over it, a. - d. But if the sec tion be unsymmetrical, its direction is noted by two letters, a. A. A, at its extremities; and the actual section by the same letters with lines over them, a. A. At the corresponding ex tremities.
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