Ruskin published 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture' in 1849 (Smith, Elder, and Co., London). It was his first book to discuss architectural theory. The volume examines the ways in which architectural decoration symbolises the state of society. It was so successful that it was republished in new editions in 1855 and 1880. This is one of a group of 15 engravings of the illustrations from the book. The majority were re-engraved for the second edition by R. P. Cuff from drawings made by Ruskin for the original 1849 edition of the book. These engravings appear to have been published in a separate folio without the text, testifying to the popularity of Ruskin's book and the value of the illustrations as works of art in their own right.