Ruskin and the Light of Nature

27 June - 1 October 2000

This exhibition brings together a stunning selection of John Ruskin's watercolours covering the entire period of his life. They are drawn from major collections in Britain, including the Tate and the Ashmolean Museum as well as from Abbot Hall's own exceptional collection.

This will be a rare opportunity to see Ruskin's works and influences in the Lake District, the area of particular natural beauty where he lived for many years and which inspired him as an artist.

Ruskin's watercolours will be shown alongside some of the nation's greatest works by J.M.W.Turner, whom he regarded as Britain's supreme landscape painter. Other works will include those artists whom Ruskin saw as sharing his sentiment such as Millais and Rossetti.

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) is perhaps the greatest critic of art, culture and society Britain has ever produced. His lasting influence on artists, writers, politicians and many others has established him as one of the formative thinkers of the modern age.

This exhibition, however, is particularly a celebration of Ruskin the artist, who used drawing to gain a greater understanding of the world around him. Through intense concentration and acute observation, he created works which reveal nature with startling spontaneity and honesty.

The exhibition is the first initiative to result from Abbot Hall's collaboration as part of the new Tate Partnership Scheme which is part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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