John Ruskin, Byzantine capitals, concave group

Returned Triumphant: Loans to 'John Ruskin: Artist and Observer'

12 January - 2 April 2015

Celebrating the return of items lent to the 'John Ruskin: Artist and Observer' exhibition, held in Ottawa and Edinburgh.

In 2014, the Ruskin Foundation was the largest single lender to an exhibition of John Ruskin’s drawings and daguerreotypes, the most comprehensive since the Tate Britain centenary exhibition in 2000. The exhibition, entitled 'John Ruskin, Artist and Observer', was hosted at the National Gallery of Canada from 14 February - 11 May and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from 4 July - 28 September. The number of loans to this from our Museum reflected its standing in holding the most important collection of Ruskin's work in the world: the Whitehouse Collection.


John Ruskin: View from the Brezon, looking towards Geneva, 1862

In 2015, forty-nine of these loans were displayed in our galleries. Included were ten of the twelve daguerreotype photographs used in the exhibition to emphasise Ruskin’s focus on observational drawing, especially of Northern European Gothic architecture, as a means of understanding both nature and human endeavour.


Frederick Crawley and John Ruskin: Gorge de la Lizerne, Ardon, 1854

Several of the most celebrated works from the Whitehouse Collection were displayed, including The Walls of Lucerne (1866), Vineyard Walk, Lucca (1874) and North West Porch of St. Mark’s, Venice (1877). This was a rare chance to see these works together, alongside others covering a wide range of Ruskin’s interests and experiences in life over nearly half a century.


John Ruskin: Vineyard Walk, Lucca, 1874