Ruskin and the Lake District
9th April - 27th September 1998
Mountains are the begining and end of all natural scenery (John Ruskin, Modern Painters IV, 1856)
Trees Study, perhaps at Ambleside, 1847 John Ruskin
The Lake District was central to the work of John Ruskin (1819-1900) - writer on art and architecture, geologist and naturalist, social commentator and environmentalist. It was this remote and beautiful region which inspired his 'ruling passion' - a love of landscape which encompased the geology that shaped it and the living things that flourished in it, as well as its portrayal in art.
For Ruskin, both a refuge and a resource, the Lake District became his home, and from Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water, he followed Wordsworth's lead in preserving the region's fragile beauty for the education and enjoyment of future generations.
The first section of the exhibition, entitled 'Ruskin: the Visitor', examines the way the 'rocks and stones and trees' of the Lake District guided the direction of Ruskin's thought on landscape. The second section, 'Ruskin: the Guardian' looks at the way in which Ruskin's writing on the environment was instrumental in shaping attitudes to the Lake District and its protection from industrial development.
Text from Ruskin and the Lake District exhibition catalogue. Exhibition organised and catalogue written by Clair Wildsmith
Catalogues are available for many of our exhibitions - see our Publications List for details.
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