Heidelberg [drawing]
Heidelberg Drawing

Pen and ink, approx. ? × ? cm (image only). The editors of the Library Edition describe the image as a “sketch of a town in a large plain, with distant mountains”, although they misidentify its position in MS IX—at least, as presently found—ascribing it to a position between the poem and prose of the “St. Goar” section. If accurate, that description would have placed the drawing on the verso page (43v) that precedes its current placement (44v) (Ruskin, Works, 2:360). Yet, while the vignette is placed at the head of the poem about Heidelberg, its depiction of the distant settlement suggests none of that townʼs landmarks—no castle nestled against the mountainside, no arched bridge across the river, no gothic cathedral tower (rather, a round dome is prominent). Considering the attention that Ruskin gives to the castle ruins in his poem and prose description, it seems strange that he would omit that feature in a drawing meant to represent a view of Heidelberg. The single possibly appropriate feature in the drawing is the broad plain, since, as the Neckar emerges from the Odenwald mountain range at Heidelberg, the river does flow into a level plain toward Mannheim, where it empties into the Rhine. If that scene is what Ruskin intended, one can connect the drawing to the lines in the poem describing how “towards the western day, / Manheims towers softened lay”—but then the mountains shown behind distant Mannheim would be wrong. The drawing may simply be misplaced, having no connection with the section, “Heidelberg”; however, if so, the drawing appears to have even less to do with the section “St. Goar”, where the editors place it, since, in that case, the broad plain would be wrong, and no Lorelei is shown looming around a bend in the river. As commented in the apparatus to the “Account” (Manuscripts), the rebinding of MS IX sometime after approximately 1890 may have caused some derangement of the drawings.