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The Stones of Venice.
London: Smith, Elder and Co.,, 1873-74. 3 volumes, octavo (255 x 169 mm). Contemporary full calf over bevelled boards by Grieve of Edinburgh, decorative gilt spines, dark red morocco twin labels, two-line gilt panelling on spines, trefoil motif at corners, top edges gilt, others untrimmed, marbled endpapers. Numerous plates by Thomas Lupton, J. C. Armytage, R. P. Cuff and others after Ruskin, illustrations in the text. Joints lightly rubbed, scattered light foxing. A very attractive set. Signed limited edition, one of 1,500 copies signed by the author at the end of the preface. Ruskin's magnum opus, one of the key texts of the aesthetic movement, was first published 1851?53. Ruskin's The Stones of Venice and The Seven Lamps of Architecture "with their obsession with the function and aesthetics of architecture, over and beyond its history and practice? proved a revolutionary success" (PMM). "The importance of The Stones of Venice lies ? in its celebration of the Byzantine and the Gothic, which had an immediate effect on Victorian architects, who began to introduce Romanesque forms and Venetian and Veronese colour and sculptural features into their designs" (ODNB). In the most famous chapter, "The nature of Gothic", which was twice reprinted in his lifetime (first for the inauguration of the London Working Men's College in 1854, and second by William Morris in 1892), "Ruskin argued that under conditions of industrialization and the division of labour, social disharmony and industrial unrest were bound to occur, because the previously expressive craftsman - Ruskin's ideal working man - had been reduced to the condition of a machine" (op. cit.) Provenance: attractive contemporary book label of the Castlecraig Library (bearing the motto of the Scottish baronetage "fax mentis honestae gloria") and probably acquired by Thomas David Gibson Carmichael, Baron Carmichael (1859-1926), administrator in India and art collector, whose visit to Italy in 1881-82 "sparked a lifeflong interest in Italian art and art collecting" (ODNB).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2016-09-25           Check availability:      Biblio    


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