Albert Goodwin, Ponte Vecchio

Ruskin and Italy

5 October 1998 - 3 January 1999

An exhibition of drawings and studies made by John Ruskin during his many visits to Italy.

For John Ruskin, the country of Italy was a vital part of life, and it strongly influenced his way of thinking. Like the Lake District, it was a refuge and place of rehabilitation in times of illness and upset, and he made nearly twenty separate visits there between 1833 and 1888. At the age of thirteen, Ruskin was given Roger’s Italy and was awed by the Turner vignettes of the Italian landscape. This gift inspired him to continue to develop his drawing and perception skills, which are recorded in the pictures and diaries of his travels.‌

John Ruskin: Tomb of Ilaria di Caretto, Lucca Cathedral, c. 1874

This exhibition drew upon just a fraction of the drawings and studies which Ruskin made during his many visits to Italy. Through the display of pictures, diaries, letters and published works, such as The Stones of Venice, visitors to the Museum learned how important Italy was to him and his way of life.