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John Ruskin: Castelbarco Tomb, Verona

"My dearest place in Italy"

Ruskin in Verona

8 January - 3 April 2005

"[I]f I were asked to lay my finger, in a map of the world, on the spot of the world's surface which contained at this moment the most singular concentration of art-teaching and art-treasure I should lay it on the name of the town of Verona." (A Joy for Ever, lecture of 1857)

On most of John Ruskin's trips to Venice, he also visited the nearby city of Verona, whose more concentrated beauty held a particular affection for him. "[I]t contains," he continued in his 1857 lecture, "perfect examples of the great twelfth-century Lombardic architecture, which was the root of all the mediŠval art of Italy, without which no Giottos, no Angelicos, no Raphaels would have been possible: it contains that architecture, not in rude forms, but in the most perfect and loveliest types it ever attained - contains those, not in ruins, nor in altered and hardly decipherable fragments, but in churches perfect from porch to apse, with all their carving fresh, their pillars firm, their joints unloosened. Besides these, it includes examples of the great thirteenth and fourteenth century Gothic of Italy, not merely perfect, but elsewhere unrivalled." The Duomo, together with the Gothic churches of Sant' Anastasia, San Fermo and San Zeno, and the remarkable medieval tombs of the Scaligers and Count Castelbarco, provided subjects which Ruskin never tired of seeing and drawing. "Mind you leave yourself enough time for Verona," he wrote to his American friend Charles Eliot Norton, also in 1857, "people always give too little time to Verona; it is my dearest place in Italy."


Ruskin's visits to Verona

1835 1 October
1841 18-19 May
1845 6-8 September, ?17 October
1846 9-11 May
1849 5-7 November
1850 9- ?18 March
1851 30 August
1852 26-27 January (ball); 23-24 February (ball);1-5 June, 29 June
1869 8-9 May, 14 May-14 July, 20-28 July, 9-10 August
1870 24 May
1872 16-22 June
1876 26-31 October
1877 ? January
1888 between 23 and 26 September

Page from Ruskin's 1851-52 Diary

Pages from Ruskin's Diary for 1852-52

Ruskin's Venetian Notebooks 1849-50 (Electronic Edition)



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