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Ruskin's Romantic Tours 1837 - 1838

12th April - 28th September 2003

"On the journey of 1837, when I was eighteen, I felt, for the last time, the pure childish love of nature which Wordsworth so idly takes for an intimation of immortality. We went down by the North Road, as usual; and on the fourth day arrived at Catterick Bridge, where there is a clear pebble-bedded stream, and both west and east some rising of hills, foretelling the moorlands and dells of upland Yorkshire; and there the feeling came back to me - as it could never return more. " Praeterita (Library Edition of Ruskin's Works, Vol 35, pages 218-219)

This exhibition tracked the journey of Ruskin and his parents through the Lakes in 1837 when John Ruskin was eighteen, and the journey of 1838, when the Ruskins extended their normal route into Scotland, to explore the country of Sir Walter Scott.

Lodore [Rock above Lodore] - 1837
John Ruskin: Carlisle Cathedral

John Ruskin: Lodore [Rock above Lodore] [1837]

John Ruskin: Carlisle Cathedral, 7 August 1838

It collected together drawings from both of these tours, and includes works by Samuel Prout and JMW Turner, Ruskin's two favourite artists. It shows the importance of Romantic poets such as Wordsworth and Scott to Ruskin, and shows how their influence, ideals and imagery stayed with him into old age. The exhibition combines pictures by Ruskin the teenager, with reminiscences of Ruskin the Sage.

The exhibition included items on loan from the Ruskin Museum, Coniston, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal and books from the rare book collection of Lancaster University Library, as well as works from the Ruskin Library collection.

John Ruskin: Loch Achray, after Copley Fielding

John Ruskin: Loch Achray, after Copley Fielding c.1834-35

A catalogue by Stephen Wildman (Curator, Ruskin Library) and Keith Hanley (Director of the Ruskin Programme) is available from the Ruskin Library.



Catalogues are available for many of our exhibitions - see our Publications List for details.

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