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More than 150 years after its first publication in 1851–53, this monumental work by a great Victorian writer, critic, and artist remains among the most influential books on art and architecture ever written. In The Stones of Venice, a survey of the principal buildings in the "Paradise of Cities," John Ruskin developed an aesthetic and intellectual argument that lingers at the heart of the debate over the meaning of architecture and craftsmanship.
This work applies the general principles enunciated in Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture to Venetian architecture. The first volume, The Foundations, presents a short history of the city and discusses architecture's functional and ornamental aspects. Volume II, The Sea-Stories, examines the Byzantine era and the brilliant architectural developments of Venice's Gothic period. The third volume, The Fall, consists of a trenchant examination of the Venetian spiritual and architectural decline during the Renaissance.
Ruskin believed that an understanding of architecture (and painting, and nature) requires a well-informed respect for history and truth. Readers will find no better guide to the spiritual content and aesthetic pleasures of architecture than this eminent teacher and scholar. Featuring all of Ruskin's original drawings, this is the only unabridged edition of The Stones of Venice currently available.