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A New and Noble School: Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites
A New and Noble School: Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites

A New and Noble School: Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites

By John Ruskin, Edited by Stephen Wildman, Introduction by Robert Hewison


310 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $41.95 (US $41.95) (CA $56.95)

Publication Date: August 2013

ISBN 9781843680864

Rights: US & CA

Pallas Athene (Aug 2013)

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In 1851 John Ruskin came to the defense of the young artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood by writing two letters to the Times refuting wide-spread criticism of their paintings. Soon afterwards he published a pamphlet entitled "Pre-Raphaelitism," beginning almost a decade of public support for the work of William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and their associates. Already established as one of the leading writers on art, Ruskin took a personal risk in defending the Pre-Raphaelite cause, but saw a parallel in the hostile reaction to the paintings of his artistic idol J. M. W. Turner. In Millais especially, Ruskin hoped to nurture a worthy successor in landscape painting, arguing that the Pre-Raphaelites’ attention to truth and detail offered the opportunity to establish a “new and noble school” of British art. This is the first compilation of all of Ruskin’s published writings relating to the  Pre-Raphaelites, beginning with the celebrated passage in the first volume of Modern Painters (1843) exhorting young artists to “go to nature in all . . . rejecting nothing, selecting nothing and scorning nothing,” later claimed by Hunt to have been an inspiration. As well as "Pre-Raphaelitism" (1851), rarely reprinted since, and the fourth of the 185 Edinburgh lectures, it includes all the comments on paintings in the annual Academy Notes (1855-9) which pertain to Pre-Raphaelitism, underlining Ruskin’s significant contribution to the movement’s popular success and the widespread acceptance of its principles. From the period after 1860, when Ruskin was concentrating more on social issues, come the the little-known articles published in the Nineteenth Century magazine under the title "The Three Colours of Pre Raphaelitism," (1878), and a number of lectures, including the last of his Slade Lectures, "The Art of England," (1883) delivered just a few years before his mental faculties failed. Edited with a commentary and preface by Stephen Wildman, Director of the Ruskin Library and Research Centre, University of Lancaster, and with an introduction by Robert Hewison, one of Ruskin’s successors as Slade Professor of Art at the University of Oxford.

Author Biography

John Ruskin (1819-1900) was the foremost art critic in Victorian England, and one of the greatest writers and thinkers of his time. Stephen Wildman, Professor of Art History at Lancaster University, is the curator of the Ruskin Library and Collection, and one of the foremost authorities on Pre-Raphaelite art.