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John Ruskin, Le Pietre di Venezia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francesca Tancini


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John Ruskin “returns” to Venice in a major exhibition. For the first time in Italy, an international event focuses on Ruskin the artist and on his relationship with the lagoon city. What would the myth of Venice be without John Ruskin, the bard of the city’s eternal beauty, which is all the more fascinating and evocative for its being recorded during its decline? A central figure in the nineteenth-century international art scene, a writer, painter and art critic, John Ruskin (1819-1900) had a very strong bond with Venice, to which he dedicated his most famous literary work, “The stones of Venice”: a study of Venice’s architecture, examined and described in the most minute detail, and a paean to the beauty, uniqueness but also fragility of this city. Admired by Tolstoy and Proust, and capable of strongly influencing the aesthetics of his time with his interpretation of art and architecture, Ruskin now returns to Venice and to one of the sites that inspired him: the Doge’s Palace, that emblematic building he explored in depth from different angles in sketchbooks, watercolours, architectural studies, plaster casts, albumen and platinum prints. The exhibition is hosted in the sequence of rooms and halls he depicted so many times in his own work, where the backdrop by Pier Luigi Pizzi emphasises the architectural and sculptural features of Gothic and Byzantine, medieval and anti-classical Venice that he so loved and wished to preserve from oblivion.

Publication metadata

Artist(s): Ruskin J

Publication type: Exhibition

Publication status: Published

Year: 2018

Number of Pieces: c.130

Venue: Appartamento del Doge, Palazzo Ducale

Location: Venice


Notes: Exhibition curated by Anna Ottani Cavina; Curatorial assistance, secretariat, captions and comments by Francesca Tancini. Scientific Committee composed by Colin B. Bailey (Morgan Library), Colin Harrison (Ashmolean Museum), Stephen Wildman (Ruskin Library). The exhibition was granted loans from the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), Ruskin Foundation (Lancaster), Ruskin Museum (Coniston), Guild of St George (Sheffield), Morgan Library and Museum (New York).


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