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Price: £795.00

  

The Seven Lamps of Architecture in one volume and Modern Painters in six volumes including index

By John Ruskin

1886-8 - Kent - George Allen

12" by 8.5", xii, 222; lxiii, 425; xxvii, 264; xix, 351; xii, 420; xvi, 364; 316pp plus plates (108 including frontispieces, collate complete)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

DETAILS

A fantastic collection of two of Ruskin's critical works.

Second edition but first complete edition of Modern Painters (1888), and fifth edition of Seven Lamps (1886).

Seven Lamps contains a frontispiece and thirteen further plates featuring illustrations drawn by the author, collated complete.

Frontispieces to volumes III, IV and V of Modern Painters, and ninety-four further plates in these volumes, collated complete.

The plates in volume V demonstrate techniques of steel engraving and wood engraving, and this volume also contains illustrations in the text.

Binders label of Alfred Wilson successor to J.As. Gilbert and Co, London to front pastedown of The Seven Lamps of Architecture.

Seven Lamps complete in one volume, Modern Painters complete in five volumes plus index volume.

What became the first volume of Modern Painters (1843), published by Smith, Elder & Co. under the anonymous but apparently authoritative title, "A Graduate of Oxford," was Ruskins response to the critics of the art of J.M.W. Turner. Ruskin controversially argued that modern landscape paintersand in particular Turnerwere superior to the so-called "Old Masters" of the post-Renaissance period. Ruskin maintained that Old Masters such as Gaspard Dughet (Gaspar Poussin), Claude Lorrain, and Salvator Rosa, unlike Turner, favoured pictorial convention, and not truth to nature. He explained that he meant moral as well as material truth. The job of the artist is to observe the reality of nature and not to invent it in a studioto render what he has seen and understood imaginatively on canvas, free of any rules of composition. For Ruskin, modern landscapists demonstrated a superior understanding of the truths of water, air, clouds, stones, and vegetation, a profound appreciation of which Ruskin demonstrated in his own prose. He described works he had seen at the National Gallery and Dulwich Picture Gallery with extraordinary verbal felicity. Travel provided Ruskin with an opportunity to study medieval art and architecture in France, Switzerland and especially Italy. Drawing on these travels, he wrote the second volume of Modern Painters (published April 1846). The volume concentrated more on Renaissance and pre-Renaissance artists than on Turner. It was also a more theoretical work than its predecessor. Ruskin explicitly linked the aesthetic and the divine, arguing that truth, beauty and religion are inextricably bound together: the Beautiful as a gift of God. Ruskin also added third and fourth volumes in later years.

Ruskins developing interest in architecture, and particularly in the Gothic revival, led to the first work to bear his name, The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849). It 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. All would provide recurring themes in his work. Seven Lamps promoted the virtues of a secular and Protestant form of Gothic. It was a challenge to the Catholic influence of A. W. N. Pugin. Ruskin argued that restoration is destruction; ancient buildings should be preserved, but no attempt should be made to erase the accumulated history encoded in their decay.

CONDITION

In cloth bindings. Externally very sound, shelfwear to the heads and tails of the spines, and some marks to the boards. The hinges of Seven Lamps are slightly strained. Internally, firmly bound. Very bright and clean, just a few scattered spots, predominantly to the first and last few pages of each volume. Overall: VERY GOOD INDEED.


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