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Ruskin John (1819-1900)

Flower studies: larch rose.

Studies of Larch Buds
Pen and ink, pencil, watercolour and bodycolour
14.3 x 12.5 cm; 19 x 11.3 cm
RF 1264, 1265

These studies RF 1264 and RF 1265 do not seem to have been used in Proserpina or elsewhere, but Ruskin did refer to a 'long spray of larch with purple buds in a letter of 1875.

These appear to be the young female buds (developing cones) of the deciduous European Larch (Larix decidua Miller; syn. L. europea), a deciduous member of the Pine family (Pinaceae), which grows in the mountains of northern Europe and has been widely planted elsewhere. The female buds of this tree are usually described as being 'reddish‘, as in RF 1265, rather than 'purple‘, as described above by Ruskin, although the male buds may have a purple tinge.