Venice represented John Ruskin's ideal of civic society-"The Paradise of Cities," where culture, government, and faith existed in creative harmony. In this elegant and compelling book, Robert Hewison traces Ruskin's long and intricate relationship with the city. He shows how Ruskin shed his earlier Romantic vision of the city and developed a harder, clearer conception of neglected Gothic Venice through an intense study of the city's physical fabric that would change the international understanding of the city. Drawing on the rich resources of Ruskin's drawings, architectural notebooks, and manuscripts (including previously unpublished daguerreotypes from Ruskin's own collection), Hewison offers fresh insights into both Ruskin and nineteenth-century Venice and reveals how Ruskin's work and his connection with the city from youth to old age have helped to shape the image of the Venice we know today.
Robert Hewison is Professor of Cultural Policy and Leadership Studies at the City University, London, and Associate at the think tank Demos.