Books

John Ruskin: Artist and Observer (2014)

ISBN: 9781907372575
Artist(s): John Ruskin
Author(s): Christopher Newell
Format: paperback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 2014
Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing
Total Pages: 376
Illustrations: Lavishly illustrated

£100.00

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A celebration of the creative genius of John Ruskin (1819–1900) as represented in his distinctive draughtsmanship. Ruskin’s drawings and watercolours will also be read as indicators of periods of euphoria and intellectual engagement, as well as moods of bleak despair and his eventual descent into insanity. The drawings of John Ruskin are exhilarating to look at, they express his own sense of exhilaration as he observed landscape and nature, buildings and artifacts, and deserve to be appreciated afresh by audiences anew. Accompanying a landmark exhibition at the National Galleries of Canada and Scotland in 2104, this exploration of Ruskin’s watercolours and drawings
– representing his entire career and all subject types and degrees of finish and elaboration – will demonstrate how his use of drawing evolved in terms of his most characteristic stylistic traits and how he used the medium in a most distinctive technical manner. It will be shown how he regarded drawing as a means of focusing his eye and as a discipline of observation, and how he attached small significance to the drawing itself when completed. The drawings will be celebrated for their immediacy and verve, for their absence of self-consciousness or artistic indulgence. Drawing was used by Ruskin to express the ecstasy he felt in the presence of transcendent beauty in nature and landscape, as well as in the works of man, and was an essential means of emotional release. On other occasions, and especially during phases of mental fragility, he drew to establish certainties about the physical world upon which he might rely.

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