Artist, art critic, educator, social thinker and true polymath, John Ruskin (1819-1900) devoted his life to the pursuit of knowledge. To mark the bicentenary of his birth, a new exhibition produced by Two Temple Place, Museums Sheffield and the Guild of St George, will celebrate the legacy and enduring relevance of Ruskin’s ideas and vision. John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing will bring together over 190 paintings, drawings, daguerreotypes, metal work, and plaster casts to illustrate how Ruskin’s attitude to aesthetic beauty shaped his radical views on culture and society.
John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing will mark the first time Ruskin’s remarkable collection will be shown en masse outside Sheffield, featuring examples of his own work alongside paintings, drawings and photographs by Ruskin’s contemporaries including J.M.W. Turner, George Frederic Watts and John Wharlton Bunney.
The exhibition will showcase significant objects from The Ruskin Collection including Ruskin’s St George and the Dragon, after Carpaccio (1872), and the ‘De Croy’ Book of Hours, an exquisitely illustrated religious manuscript dating from the 15th century. Bunney’s striking 7’5ft oil painting Western Façade of San Marco (1882) will demonstrate Ruskin’s fascination for the architecture of Venice, while his deep passion for the natural world will be represented by carefully-observed studies of botany, geology, ornithology and landscape including John James Audubon’s White Pelican (1836) and an array of dazzling minerals and geological specimens. The exhibition will also feature examples of hand-crafted furniture from the original St George’s Museum.
In addition to Sheffield’s Guild of St George Ruskin Collection, John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing will draw on the rich collections of both regional and national public museums and galleries, including, The Ashmolean; Calderdale Museums; The Fitzwilliam; Gallery Oldham; The Ruskin Library, Lancaster; Leeds Museums and Art Gallery; Tate; Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village and the William Morris Gallery. Key loans include Ruskin’s Kapellbrücke, Lucerne (1861), on loan from The Ashmolean, and J.M.W. Turner’s Pass of St Gotthard, near Faido (c.1842-3) and Venetian Festival (1845), from Tate.
26 January – 22 April 2019
2 Temple Pl, London WC2R 3BD