John Ruskin (Critical Lives)

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9781780234298: John Ruskin (Critical Lives)
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John Ruskin (1819–1900) was the most prominent art and architecture critic of his time. Yet his reputation has been overshadowed by his personal life, especially his failed marriage to Effie Gray, which has cast him in the history books as little more than a Victorian prude. In this book, Andrew Ballantyne rescues Ruskin from the dustbin of history’s trifles to reveal a deeply attuned thinker, one whose copious writings had tremendous influence on all classes of society, from roadmenders to royalty.
           
Ballantyne examines a crucial aspect of Ruskin’s thinking: the notion that art and architecture have moral value. Telling the story of Ruskin’s childhood and enduring devotion to his parents―who fostered his career as a writer on art and architecture―he explores the circumstances that led to Ruskin’s greatest works, such as Modern Painters, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, The Stones of Venice, and Unto This Last. He follows Ruskin through his altruistic ventures with the urban poor, to whom he taught drawing, motivated by a profound conviction that art held the key to living a worthwhile life. Ultimately, Ballantyne weaves Ruskin’s story into a larger one about Victorian society, a time when the first great industrial cities took shape and when art could finally reach beyond the wealthy elite and touch the lives of everyday people. 

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Andrew Ballantyne is professor of architecture at Newcastle University and the author of Architecture: A Very Short Introduction and Tudoresque: In Pursuit of the Ideal Home, the latter also published by Reaktion Books. 

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“It is good to have a new book about John Ruskin (1819-1900) that is short, informative, and accessible. . . . Architectural historian Ballantyne sets out the essentials of Ruskin’s life—the early years with his adoring parents, the notoriety of Modern Painters, the disastrous marriage to Effie Gray, the commitment to museums and workers’ education, the Whistler suit, and the final mental collapse—while providing authoritative analysis of his connection to picturesque theory, Turner’s genius, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Gothic Revival. . . . Overall, an attractive, well-written introduction to the life and thought of one of the great Victorians. . . . Recommended.”
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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Ruskin (1819-1900) was the most prominent art and architecture critic of his day. His books, pamphlets and letters to the press had an influence on all classes of society, from road-menders to royalty, and he still maintains a popular reputation today, though he is remembered less for his views than for his failed marriage to Effie Gray, who left him for the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais. Frequently imagined as a Victorian prude, there was far more to Ruskin than this derisory description suggests. John Ruskin shows us how Ruskin s ideas gave a moral character to art, architecture and the Picturesque and reveals how and why his reputation endures. Ruskin s devoted parents were convinced that their son was a genius and encouraged him to write about the moral and spiritual value of art rather than his other major passion, geology. While his parents lived Ruskin wrote his best works: Modern Painters, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, The Stones of Venice and Unto This Last. After they died Ruskin seemed lost until he put himself in the hands of a younger cousin, Joan Severn, who guarded his reputation while his mental capacities declined, beyond the public gaze, in the Lake District. This book weaves Ruskin s life and work into a fascinating narrative about Victorian society: Ruskin understood art, its beauty and wonder, as a solution to the miseries of the urban poor and the key to living a worthwhile life. Offering fresh readings of Ruskin s major texts, this is an engaging biography ofthe artist s life and times. Seller Inventory # AA99781780234298

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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Ruskin (1819-1900) was the most prominent art and architecture critic of his day. His books, pamphlets and letters to the press had an influence on all classes of society, from road-menders to royalty, and he still maintains a popular reputation today, though he is remembered less for his views than for his failed marriage to Effie Gray, who left him for the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais. Frequently imagined as a Victorian prude, there was far more to Ruskin than this derisory description suggests. John Ruskin shows us how Ruskin s ideas gave a moral character to art, architecture and the Picturesque and reveals how and why his reputation endures. Ruskin s devoted parents were convinced that their son was a genius and encouraged him to write about the moral and spiritual value of art rather than his other major passion, geology. While his parents lived Ruskin wrote his best works: Modern Painters, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, The Stones of Venice and Unto This Last. After they died Ruskin seemed lost until he put himself in the hands of a younger cousin, Joan Severn, who guarded his reputation while his mental capacities declined, beyond the public gaze, in the Lake District. This book weaves Ruskin s life and work into a fascinating narrative about Victorian society: Ruskin understood art, its beauty and wonder, as a solution to the miseries of the urban poor and the key to living a worthwhile life. Offering fresh readings of Ruskin s major texts, this is an engaging biography ofthe artist s life and times. Seller Inventory # AA99781780234298

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