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Illustration of a figure in a grove of trees appears above a fragment of music, with English and Italian text printed below.

At the top of the page is an illustration of a figure with outstretched arms standing in a grove of trees. There are rolling hills in the background. Below the illustration is a fragment of a musical score, a song for voice and accompaniment. The lyrics in the score are Italian. At the bottom of the page are two boxes, each containing the lyrics for the song. The text on the left is an English translation, the right are the Italian lyrics. Initial letters of each line of text are large and decorative. Behind and partially obscured by the boxes of text is a flowering plant.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Francesca Alexander, American (Boston MA 1837 - 1917 Florence Italy)
Illustration with music for "On the Ancient Walls of Venice" from "Tuscan Songs"
Work Type
1868 - 1882
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Brown ink over graphite erasures on off-white wove paper
38.6 x 27.3 cm (15 3/16 x 10 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: u.r., black ink: XXXVIII
  • inscription: lower edge, black ink, in artist's hand: This little song was sung much at the time of the war in 1859, and the tune is pretty. But Annina / Bini, who taught it to me, knew only one verse, and I have never found any one who could teach me more.


Recorded Ownership History
John Ruskin.
Edward H. Hall.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of the Estate of Rev. Edward H. Hall
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Francesca Alexander, Tuscan Songs Collected, Translated and Illustrated by Francesca Alexander, Houghton Mifflin Company (Cambridge, MA, 1897), plate XXXV
  • E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, The Works of John Ruskin, G. Allen (London, England, 1903 -1912), vol. 32, p. 45, leaves 44 - 45
  • Van Wyck Brooks, The Dream of Arcadia: American Writers and Artists in Italy, 1760 - 1915, Dutton (New York, NY, 1958), pp. 176 - 188
  • Linda S. Ferber and William H. Gerdts, The New Path: Ruskin and the American Pre-Raphaelites, exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY, 1985), pp. 228 - 231

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2130 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/31/2019 - 11/08/2021

Verification Level

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