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Home » Great First Impressions Series » First Impressions Series: John Ruskin’s Young Adulthood First Experience in Venice and of St. Mark’s Cathedral

First Impressions Series: John Ruskin’s Young Adulthood First Experience in Venice and of St. Mark’s Cathedral

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September 29, 2016

Venice: The Upper End of the Grand Canal, with San Simeone Piccolo; Dusk 1840 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Venice: The Upper End of the Grand Canal, with San Simeone Piccolo; Dusk 1840 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/D32124

Here is the mature John Ruskin’s memory of his first visit as a young man to Venice and St. Mark’s cathedral square. He recorded his sensations of “this Holy Land of Italy” in an entry for May 6, 1841:

“Thank God I am here! It is the Paradise of cities and there is moon enough to make herself the sanities of earth lunatic, striking its pure flashes of light against the grey water before the window; and I am happier than I have been these five years . . . . I feel fresh and young when my foot is on these pavements.”

Young Ruskin would go on to write one of the greatest critical studies of historic architecture with the multi-volume Stones of Venice.

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Paul Varner

 

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