Discuss the Influence of John Ruskin on Architecture in the British Isles in 19th Century

Topics: Gothic architecture, John Ruskin, Architectural style Pages: 5 (1428 words) Published: May 15, 2013
Discuss the influence of John Ruskin on architecture in the British Isles in 19th Century

* Introduction
* Born on 8th February 1819 and was leading English art critic of Victorian Era. * Also an art patron, draughtsman, water colourist and philanthropist. * His writing styles and literary forms were varied; penning essays and treatises, poetry and lectures, letters and even a fairy tale. * His elaborate style that characterised his earliest writing on art was later superseded by a preference for plainer language designed to communicate his ideas more effectively. * In all of his writings he emphasised the connections between nature, art and society. * He also made detailed sketches and painting of architectural structures and ornamentation. Many of which he drew as a small child which were deemed remarkable for a boy of his age due to their sophisticated and technicality. * First publications

* He was hugely influential in the layer half of the 19th century up to WW1 * Ruskin’s journeys as a child with his family have provided inspiration for his writing, * One of his first major publications came in September 1837 when a number of his writings entitled ‘The Poetry of Architecture’ appeared in Loudon’s Architectural Magazine under the pen name ‘Kata Phusin’ * Ruskin continued to produce various works that were published and widely recognised such as ‘Modern Painters’ in 1843. * Touring and further Publications

* Ruskin toured the continents with his parents in 1844, gaining further experience and giving him the opportunity to study medieval art and architecture in France, Switzerland and in particular Italy * During these travels he wrote the second volume of ‘Modern Painters’ in 1846 concentrating more on Renaissance and Pre-Renaissance artists. * The Seven Lamps

* Over the next few years, Ruskin began to develop a keener interest in architecture, and in particular the gothic revival. * This developing interest led to the first work to solely bear his name, ‘The Seven Lamps of Architecture’, in 1849 which contained 14 plates etched by the author. * The title refers to seven moral categories that Ruskin considered vital to and inseparable from all architecture; sacrifice, truth, power, beauty, life, memory and obedience * With regards to moral obedience, Ruskin included his ideas on what Roman architecture should be, recommending certain styles such as Pisan Romanesque, Early Central Italian Gothic, Venetian Gothic and English Earliest Decorated ( as at the Angels Choir in Lincoln Cathedral). * Recommendations

* Seven Lamps also promoted the virtues of secular and protestant forms of Gothic architecture and was a challenge to the catholic influence of AWN Pugin. * Ruskin argued that restoration is destruction, and that ancient buildings should be preserved, but no attempt should be made to erase the accumulated history encoded in their decay. * Ruskin recommended colour in buildings, flatness of surface as opposed to Pugin’s bold relief, play of light and shade, good bounding lines, squares or circles either in general boundaries or in smaller coloured areas, largeness of size and continuous repetition of arcading. * The Stones of Venice

* In November 1849, Ruskin visited Venice, filling manuscript journals and notebooks with sketches and notes that he used for ‘The Stones of Venice’ later in 1857. * This publication covered two broad aspects – construction and decoration. * Ruskin made many recommendations within the publication, including in particular his views and ideas regarding layers of walls by different means – by using different colours of stone or brick with marble; stratification for thick walls, chequered patterns for thin walls; towers to be plain and bold, detached if possible, not to be broken by buttresses and flat topped rather than pointed; and...
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