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259 × 198 × 25 mm
288 pages
180 illustrations, 102 in colour
18 Jan 2021

The Art of Ruskin and the Spirit of Place John Dixon Hunt

English art critic John Ruskin was one of the great visionaries of his time, and his influential books and letters on the power of art challenged the foundations of Victorian life. He loved looking. Sometimes it informed the things he wrote, but often it provided access to the many topographical and cultural topics he explored – rocks, plants, birds, Turner, Venice, the Alps.

In The Art of Ruskin and the Spirit of Place John Dixon Hunt explores for the first time what Ruskin drew, rather than wrote, offering a new perspective on Ruskin’s visual imagination. Through analysis of more than 150 drawings and sketches, he shows how Ruskin’s art shaped his writings, his thoughts and his sense of place.

‘This beautifully produced book takes readers on a closely and sensitively observed grand tour of Ruskin’s pictorial imagination. In a moving return to an early subject, John Dixon Hunt supplies this bibliographic equivalent of Ruskin’s restless journeying, a visual odyssey in honour not only of the places he cared about, but also of his sense of place, understood physically, emotionally, spiritually, chromatically. The images reproduced here are more than illustrations: thanks to Hunt’s hospitality and judgement as a guide, they take their place as staging-posts along a beguiling travellers’ road.’ — Dr Marcus Waithe, University Senior Lecturer, Magdalene College, Cambridge

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John Dixon Hunt is Emeritus Professor of the History and Theory of Landscape at the University of Pennsylvania. His previous books include The Wider Sea: A Life of John Ruskin (1992) and The Making of Place (Reaktion, 2015).

One The Paragone of Drawing and Writing
Two Ruskin’s Picturesque
Three Geology, Mineralogy, Mountains
Four Water, Rivers, Meteorology
Five Places and Genius Loci
Six Venice
Seven Drawing: Learning and Teaching
Eight An Iconography and Geography of Ruskin’s Imagination

Abbreviations and Bibliography
List of Illustrations