Unto This Last Two Hundred Years of John Ruskin Tim Barringer, Tara Contractor, Victoria Hepburn, Judith Stapleton, Courtney Skipton Long

Publication date:
22 Oct 2019
YC British Art
332 pages: 292 x 229mm
280 color illus.

An innovative and lavishly illustrated account of the art, writings, and global influence of one of the 19th century’s most influential thinkers

This book presents an innovative portrait of John Ruskin (1819–1900) as artist, art critic, social theorist, educator, and ecological campaigner. Ruskin’s juvenilia reveal an early embrace of his lifelong interests in geology and botany, art, poetry, and mythology. His early admiration of Turner led him to identify the moral power of close looking. In The Stones of Venice, illustrated with his own drawings, he argued that the development of architectural style revealed the moral condition of society. Later, Ruskin pioneered new approaches to teaching and museum practice. Influential worldwide, Ruskin’s work inspired William Morris, founders of the Labour Party, and Mahatma Gandhi. Through thematic essays and detailed discussions of his works, this book argues that, complex and contradictory, Ruskin’s ideas are of urgent importance today.

Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, and Tara Contractor, Victoria Hepburn, and Judith Stapleton are PhD candidates in the History of Art Department at Yale University. Courtney Skipton Long is acting assistant curator of prints and drawings at the Yale Center for British Art.

“A glorious assemblage of a book that invites the reader to wander through a diverse array of Ruskin-related artefacts which cumulatively provide a penetrating exploration of its subject’s art, character and philosophy”—Mark Jones, PRS Review

“For an exhibition of fewer than 100 items – barely larger than most Ruskin Library displays of yesteryear – the catalogue has received the full Yale University Press treatment, a hefty hardback on high-quality paper, impeccably designed and with illustrations of sparkling clarity.”—Stephen Wildman, The Companion