The work is in three parts, cast in the form of letters to a student, successively covering "First Practice," "Sketching from Nature," and "Colour and Composition." Starting with the bare fundamentals (what kind of drawing pen to buy; shading a square evenly), and using the extremely practical method of exercises which the student performs from the very first, Ruskin instructs, advises, guides, counsels, and anticipates problems with sensitivity. The exercises become more difficult, developing greater and greater skills until Ruskin feels his reader is ready for watercolors and finally composition, which he treats in detail as to the laws of principality, repetition, continuity, curvature, radiation, contrast, interchange, consistency, and harmony. All along the way, Ruskin explains, in plain, clear language, the artistic and craftsmanlike reasons behind his practical advice — underlying which, of course, is Ruskin's brilliant philosophy of honest, naturally observed art which has so much affected our aesthetic.
Three full-page plates and 48 woodcuts and diagrams (the latter from drawings by the author) show the student what the text describes. An appendix devotes many pages to the art works which may be studied with profit.
The exaltation, the sin, and the punishment of Tyre have been recorded for us, in perhaps the most touching words ever uttered by the Prophets of Israel against the cities of the stranger. But we read them as a lovely song; and close our ears to the sternness of their warning: for the very depth of the Fall of Tyre has blinded us to its reality, and we forget, as we watch the bleaching of the rocks between the sunshine and the sea, that they were once "as in Eden, the garden of God."
Her successor, like her in perfection of beauty, though less in endurance of dominion, is still left for our beholding in the final period of her decline: a ghost upon the sands of the sea, so weak—so quiet,—so bereft of all but her loveliness, that we might well doubt, as we watched her faint reflection in the mirage of the lagoon, which was the City, and which the Shadow.
John Ruskin's insights into the need for individual artistic freedom, and his disdain for the mass-production art of the Victorian era, radically altered society's perception of creative design and remain powerfully relevant to our ideas of beauty today.
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Ruskin’s life and works
* Concise introductions to the famous art books and other texts
* ALL the art criticism and published prose works, with individual contents tables
* Images of how the books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts
* Excellent formatting of the texts
* Famous works such as MODERN PAINTERS and THE STONES OF VENICE are fully illustrated with their original artwork
* The complete poetry is presented in the scholarly Cook and Wedderburn edition
* Special alphabetical contents tables for the poetry - easily locate the poems you want to read
* The complete letters of the FORS CLAVIGERA with footnotes (Cook and Wedderburn), including the famous Whistler pamphlet – first time in digital print
* All the travel books
* Includes Ruskin’s rare autobiography PRAETERITA (Cook and Wedderburn), accompanied with the scarce DILECTA
* Special criticism section, with essays evaluating Ruskin’s contribution to literature and art criticism
* Features a bonus biography - discover Ruskin’s literary life
* Even offers a special illustrated section on Ruskin’s paintings
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
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The Art Criticism
THE SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE
GIOTTO AND HIS WORKS IN PADUA
LECTURES ON ARCHITECTURE AND PAINTING DELIVERED AT EDINBURGH IN NOVEMBER, 1853
LETTERS TO THE “TIMES” ON THE TURNER BEQUEST 1856, 1857
NOTES ON THE TURNER GALLERY AT MARLBOROUGH HOUSE
THE ELEMENTS OF DRAWING
A JOY FOR EVER
THE TWO PATHS
THE ELEMENTS OF PERSPECTIVE
SESAME AND LILIES
LECTURES ON ART DELIVERED BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD IN HILARY TERM, 1870
THE EAGLE’S NEST
THE POETRY OF ARCHITECTURE
NOTES BY MR. RUSKIN ON HIS DRAWINGS BY THE LATE J. M. W. TURNER
THE LAWS OF FÉSOLE
NOTES ON SAMUEL PROUT AND WILLIAM HUNT
CIRCULAR RESPECTING MEMORIAL STUDIES OF ST. MARK’S, VENICE
THE ART OF ENGLAND
THE PLEASURES OF ENGLAND
FINAL LECTURES AT OXFORD
LECTURES ON LANDSCAPE
LECTURES AND NOTES FOR LECTURES ON GREEK ART AND MYTHOLOGY
The Travel Books
THE STONES OF VENICE
MORNINGS IN FLORENCE
ST. MARK’S REST
‘OUR FATHERS HAVE TOLD US’
Other Prose Works
THE KING OF THE GOLDEN RIVER
THE HARBOURS OF ENGLAND
‘UNTO THIS LAST’
THE ETHICS OF THE DUST
THE CROWN OF WILD OLIVE
TIME AND TIDE BY WEARE AND TYNE
LEONI: A LEGEND OF ITALY
THE QUEEN OF THE AIR
ELEMENTS OF ENGLISH PROSODY
ARROWS OF THE CHACE
THE STORM CLOUD OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
ON THE OLD ROAD
INTRODUCTION TO RUSKIN’S POETRY by E. T. Cook
THE POEMS: TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF POEMS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
RUSKIN by G. K. Chesterton
RUSKIN by Henry Major Tomlinson
RUSKIN AS POET by W. H. Davenport Adams
CONTEMPORARY NOTES ON WHISTLER vs. RUSKIN by Henry James
RUSKIN by Virginia Woolf
THE LIFE OF JOHN RUSKIN by W. G. Collingwood
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The Third Edition consisted of sixth thousand, 1859; seventh thousand, 1860; and eighth thousand, 1861.
The work was partly reproduced in "Our Sketching Club," by the Rev. R. St. John Tyrwhitt, M.A., 1874; with new editions in 1875, 1882, and 1886.
Mr. Ruskin meant, during his tenure of the Slade Professorship at Oxford, to recast his teaching, and to write a systematic manual for the use of his Drawing School, under the title of "The Laws of Fésole." Of this only vol. i. was completed, 1879; second edition, 1882.
As, therefore, "The Elements of Drawing" has never been completely superseded, and as many readers of Mr. Ruskin's works have expressed a desire to possess the book in its old form, it is now reprinted as it stood in 1859.]
THE SECOND EDITION.
As one or two questions, asked of me since the publication of this work, have indicated points requiring elucidation, I have added a few short notes in the first Appendix. It is not, I think, desirable otherwise to modify the form or add to the matter of a book as it passes through successive editions; I have, therefore, only mended the wording of some obscure sentences; with which exception the text remains, and will remain, in its original form, which I had carefully considered. Should the public find the book useful, and call for further editions of it, such additional notes as may be necessary will be always placed in the first Appendix, where they can be at once referred to, in any library, by the possessors of the earlier editions; and I will take care they shall not be numerous.
August 3, 1857.
i. It may perhaps be thought, that in prefacing a manual of drawing, I ought to expatiate on the reasons why drawing should be learned; but those reasons appear to me so many and so weighty, that I cannot quickly state or enforce them. With the reader's permission, as this volume is too large already, I will waive all discussion respecting the importance of the subject, and touch only on those points which may appear questionable in the method of its treatment.
ii. In the first place, the book is not calculated for the use of children under the age of twelve or fourteen. I do not think it advisable to engage a child in any but the most voluntary practice of art. If it has talent for drawing, it will be continually scrawling on what paper it can get; and should be allowed to scrawl at its own free will, due praise being given for every appearance of care, or truth, in its efforts. It should be allowed to amuse itself with cheap colors almost as soon as it has sense enough to wish for them. If it merely daubs the paper with shapeless stains, the color-box may be taken away till it knows better: but as soon as it begins painting red coats on soldiers, striped flags to ships, etc., it should have colors at command; and, without restraining its choice of subject in that imaginative and historical art, of a military tendency, which children delight in, (generally quite as valuable, by the way, as any historical art delighted in by their elders,) it should be gently led by the parents to try to draw, in such childish fashion as may be, the things it can see and likes,—birds, or butterflies, or flowers, or fruit.
iii. In later years, the indulgence of using the color should only be granted as a reward, after it has shown care and progress in its drawings with pencil. A limited number of good and amusing prints should always be within a boy's reach: in these days of cheap illustration he can hardly possess a volume of nursery tales without good wood-cuts in it, and should be encouraged to copy what he likes best of this kind; but should be firmly restricted to a few prints and to a few books.
In August of 1848, John Ruskin and his new bride visited northern France, for the gifted young critic wished to write a work that would examine the essence of Gothic architecture. By the following April, the book was finished. Titled The Seven Lamps of Architecture, it was far more than a treatise on the Gothic style; instead, it elaborated Ruskin's deepest convictions of the nature and role of architecture and its aesthetics. The book was published to immediate acclaim and has since become an acknowledged classic.
The "seven lamps" are Sacrifice, Truth, Power, Beauty, Life, Memory, and Obedience. In delineating the relationship of these terms to architecture, Ruskin distinguishes between architecture and mere building. Architecture is an exalting discipline that must dignify and ennoble public life. It must preserve the purity of the materials it uses; and it must serve as a source of power and renewal for the society that produces it. The author expounds these and many other ideas with exceptional passion and knowledge, expressed in a masterly prose style.
Today, Ruskin's timeless observations are as relevant as they were in Victorian times, making The Seven Lamps of Architecture required reading for architects, students, and other lovers of architecture, who will find in these pages a thoughtful and inspiring approach to one of man's noblest endeavors.
This authoritative edition includes excellent reproductions of the 14 original plates of Ruskin's superb drawings of architectural details from such structures as the Doge's Palace in Venice, Giotto's Campanile in Florence, and the Cathedral of Rouen.