John Ruskin: The Early Years

Artist(s): John Ruskin
Author(s): Tim Hilton
Format: hardback
Year published: 1985
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 301


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This first part of the authoritative biography of John Ruskin, the most influential nineteenth-century critic of art, is the fruit of almost twenty years of research and the first to return to the original sources. Drawing on the complete text of Ruskin’s diaries and many thousands of unpublished letters and other documents, it casts much new and fascinating light on the background of Ruskin’s numerous books. Tim Hilton shows that all Ruskin’s writings were formed by the events of his life, his friends, loves, travels and memories. This volume, the first of two, covers the period from 1819 to 1859, and describes his Scottish background, his childhood in middle-class suburban London, his early education in literary and evangelical circles, and the development and refinement of tastes born of that education. His travels on the continent and discovery of French and Italian art and architecture are described in detail and are seen as the background to the five volumes of ‘Modern Painters’ and such other famous books as ‘The Seven Lamps of Architecture’ and ‘The Stones of Venice’.


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