The Literary Life

Home » John Ruskin » John Ruskin as a Teacher

John Ruskin as a Teacher

Previous Posts

October 2016
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,603 other followers

ruskin-slade-professor-slide_7

October 25, 2016

We usually remember of the great Victorian critic of art, literature, and culture, John Ruskin, for his massive multivolume works: Modern Painters in five volumes (1843-1960) or Stones of Venice in three volumes (1851-1853). But Ruskin was also the Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford for many years. Especially in his later years his reputation among undergraduates filled his lecture rooms. Here is the great English poet A. E. Housman looking back to his college days in 1877 and to a lecture by the eminent Professor Ruskin. The lecture was as much as about water and air pollution in England as about Great Art.

“This afternoon Ruskin gave us a great outburst against modern times. He had got a picture of Turner’s, framed and glassed, representing Leicester and the Abbey in the distance at sunset, over a river. He read the account of Wolsey’s death out of Henry VIII. Then he pointed to the picture as representing Leicester when Turner had drawn it. Then he said, ‘You, if you like, may go to Leicester to see what it is now. I never shall. But I can make a pretty good guess.’ Then he caught up a paintbrush. ‘These stepping-stones of course have been done away with, and are replaced by a be-au-ti-ful iron bridge.’ Then he dashed in the iron bridge on the glass of the picture. ‘The color of the steam is supplied on one side by the indigo factory.’ Forthwith one side of the steam became indigo. ‘On the other side of the soap factory.’ Soap dashed in. ‘They mix in the middle like curds,’ he said, working them together with a sort of malicious deliberation. ‘This field, over which you see the sun setting by the abbey, is now occupied in a proper manner.’ Then there went a flame of scarlet across the picture, which developed itself into windows and roofs and red brick, and rushed up into a chimney. ‘The atmosphere is supplied—thus!’ A puff and cloud of smoke all over Turner’s sky: and then the brush thrown down, and Ruskin confronting modern civilization amidst a tempest of applause, which he always elicits now, as he has this term become immensely popular, his lectures being crowded, whereas of old he used to prophesy to empty benches.”

If you like what you see be sure to sign up for the blog in your email.

Paul Varner

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 3,359 hits
Follow The Literary Life on WordPress.com

Goodreads

Follow me on Twitter

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,603 other followers

The Hoarding

On 19th-Century Literary Scholarship

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

MUDD iN YOUR FACE

from boredom to creativity

Proof Perfectly

Editing - Copywriting - Advice

deconstructingdoctor.com

a peek behind the curtain

The Long Victorian - c.1789 - 1914

The literary world of the Long Nineteenth Century, c.1789 - 1914

Under the Light of Western Skies

Intellectual Comfort from the American West

The Scene

Radical Poetics at the Zig Zag Edges

The Literary Life

A Site for Those for whom Serious Literature Matters

The Literary Counsellor

Mainly a book blog, with a bit of life thrown in for good measure.

A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.

Rosemary's Blog

A window into my world

Lizzy's Literary Life

Celebrating the pleasures of a 21st century bookworm

Let's Talk about Lit

Moving Poetry Out of Books and Into Life

Witty N Pretty

Dallas Fashion Blogger

%d bloggers like this: