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Saturday, 29 December 2012

“The majesty of nature depends upon the force of the human spirit.” ― John Ruskin




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John Ruskin - Withered Oak Leaves. 1879.

 Today I went to see the exhibition 'Force of Nature: Picturing Ruskin's Landscapes' in the Millenium Gallery, Sheffield.

It is one of the best exhibitions I have seen in a long time. Chiefly because it features a combination of all of my favourite things. Landscapes, nature, botany, geology, snowy mountains, local landscapes, contemporary artists and some of my favourite sketchers, painters, poets, travel writers and print-makers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century from J.M.W. Turner to Samuel Palmer, Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash, and a beautiful selection of paintings and sketches from Ruskin's journeys throughout Europe. It even had a beautiful painting by John Brett looking towards Etna from Taormina, my former home. My favourite, apart from Ruskin's incredible Swiss mountain scenes, was a small watercolour by Turner, to illustrate one of Samuel Roger's poems. 


Joseph Mallord William Turner. The Alps at Daybreak 1830-2











 Although he never lived in Sheffield, one of John Ruskin's museums 'The Mineral and Cast Gallery' in Meersbrook Hall was set up in 1890. This was on the street which my grandmother and mother lived. The building still stands today. The Gallery and park at that time were extremely popular, and between 1891-2 alone, 61,000 people attended.




"Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.” 

John Ruskin





Today's exhibition in Sheffield, tells of how Ruskin was adamant that the purpose of his works was to record the landscape for geological and botanical purposes rather than for aesthetics. In my opinion, however, he was one of those talented individuals with the ability to combine both, perfectly.


5 comments:

  1. You've got great taste Ange!

    Happy New Year. : )

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    1. Thanks, Azra. Happy New Year to you, too! Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2013 to all your family.

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  2. Your pieces are blooming with color of late and they are beautiful. Thank you for such a wonderful post and bringing a new artist name to my eyes.

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  3. Hello Angela:) Happy New Year!! Beautiful colored paintings!:)

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