Ruskin was born February 8, 1819 and passed away in 1900, aftersuffering from a severe nervous disease. He is remembered as apainter and critic. He was as well the most prominent art criticduring the Victorian period. Ruskin was a Cambridge Rede Lecturer inaddition to holding a professorship in fine arts. Apart fromcontributing through artwork, Ruskin established a learninginstitution for drawing and a museum, which were based in Oxford. Heestablished an evening learning institution for artisans inMeersbrook. Ruskin has won numerous awards and most of his artworkcontinues to be exhibited in different museums.
“Bearded Man with a Pipe 1842-1843” is another painting byRichard Dadd. Dadd was an exceptional as well as unconventional 19thcentury artist. He was born in 1817. His training in artwork happenedin the British Museum, following the relocation of his family toLondon. He enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools, earning silvermedals. Dadd’s initial exhibition was during an exhibition fundedby British Artists Society in London, and later the Royal Academy. Amajority of his paintings are watercolors that have been inspired bypersonal experience. Dadd suffered from serious mental disorder thatcaused him to murder his father. After the killing, he escaped toFrance, but was apprehended after two days. Following his arrest, itwas confirmed that he was mentally unwell and was confined. Daddpassed away in 1886.
The two paintings share similarities and differences. The media forboth works is watercolor and they date back to the 1840s. The artistsuse space in the similar manner, because both paintings depict acenter of interest. Ruskin interest is on the river, while Dadd’sis on the bearded man. In both artworks, the artists use colorcarefully to bring out the different components of the painting. Themovement of the forms in “A River in the Highlands” and “BeardedMan with a Pipe” is organic. The forms are asymmetrical, and havean irregular outline that occurs naturally. Another similarityderives from the mood of the paintings. Both are calm. The river isstill, seems clear, while the bearded man sits still, and appears tobe looking at something. In addition, the paintings narrate a story.Ruskin paints about a specific river that is found in the highlands.Dadd is specific in portraying, not just any man, but one that isbearded and has a pipe.
The main disparity between the paintings is that Ruskin’s work isa landscape, while Dadd’s is a portrait. The brushwork isdissimilar because the bearded man is applied thickly and the riveris applied thinly. This is probably because of the components of thepaintings. Applying the brushwork thickly makes it possible to paintthe features of the bearded man properly. On the other hand, thinlyapplied brushstroke makes the river and its environment appearsimple. Another differentiating factor is the lines used in thepaintings. In the “Bearded Man with a Pipe”, the artists makesmore use of contour lines, which results in the creation ofboundaries within the bearded man. Dividing lines are also evidentseparating the wall the man rests on with the visible trees. In “ARiver in the Highlands”, the artist uses horizontal lines. Theydepict a feeling of repose since the river is parallel to the earthand at rest. It also creates a sense of space in the painting.
Fine Arts Museum of San Fransisco. Luminous Worlds: BritishWorks on Paper 1760-1900.