At an early age, Ruskin became an admirer of the work of Stanfield though the medium of engraving. One of his Croydon cousins was apprenticed to the firm of Smith Elder (which later published Ruskin's books), and was able to bring home examples of current publications, some containing Stanfield's work ( Works, 35.91). In an Epilogue to Modern Painters II written in 1883, Ruskin recollected that 'whatever I chose to say of them, Prout, Stanfield, and Turner used to dine with my father on my birthday; the first two were always at home to me, and I had a happy little talk with Stanfield one day when he was at work on his last picture' ( Works, 4.357). In a letter to his father written in 1852, Ruskin noted: 'when I wrote the first volume of Modern Painters I only understood about one-third of my subject... I divided my admiration with Stanfield, Harding, and Fielding' ( Works, 36.130). He goes on to say: 'When I wrote about Stanfield and Harding, there was a large audience ready to hear what I had to say - and confirm it:but now that I don't care for either of them... nobody attends to me' ( Works, 36.132). Ruskin dined with Stanfield at Bicknel 's on 16 December 1843 shortly after the publication of Modern Painters I:' Turner, Stanfield, Harding and Roberts, in a line down the table' ( Evans and Whitehouse, Diaries I, p.254). It is interesting to note that Stanfield's Coastal Scenery was also published by Smith Elder and Co, and that they placed an advertisment for the volume at the back of the third edition of Modern Painters I, described as: 'Second edition, Forty plates engraved in line, in the most finished style, with descriptive letterpress. One volume 8vo., handsomely bound in cloth, gilt edges. Price 21s'.