Discover the extraordinary and beautiful drawings and watercolours made
by one of Victorian Britain's most eminent writers and thinkers
At the National Gallery of Canada
From February 14 to May 11, 2014
OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Perhaps best known as one of Victorian
Britain's leading art critics and theorists, John Ruskin (1819-1900)
was famous for the breadth of his subject matter and variety of writing
forms. Equally significant, though, are his extraordinary drawings and
watercolours, which he made for very personal purposes. From February
14 to May 11, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) presents John Ruskin: Artist and Observer, an exhibition organized in partnership with the National Galleries of
Scotland, which features artworks produced over a prolific 60-year
career. To learn more about the exhibition and the activities
surrounding it, visit gallery.ca.
A rich diversity, a brilliant talent
This exhibition, the most ambitious ever to focus on the artistic
qualities of Ruskin's work, brings together 140 drawings, watercolours
and daguerreotypes representing varied subject matter, from
architecture and landscape to nature studies. His drawings, with their
lyricism and fluidity, meticulous detail and jewel-like colours, are a
window into a brilliant and sometimes troubled soul.
As they walk through the exhibition, divided into seven themes, viewers
will discover many of Ruskin's best-known and admired drawings, as well
as others that are being exhibited in public for the first time. All
the works are on loan from prestigious public and private collections
in Great Britain, Canada and the United States, including The Ashmolean
Museum, in Oxford, and The British Museum. Christopher Newall and Conal
Shields are the guest curators of this exhibition, which is coordinated
by NGC Curator of Photographs, Ann Thomas.
A window into Ruskin's emotions
Ruskin's artworks provide a commentary on his great intellectual
projects and demonstrate the range of his obsessive interests. They
also reveal a variety of emotions, from the artist's euphoric delight
in pattern, colour and texture to his utter despondency over what he
perceived as the ultimate corruption of all things. Drawing, for
Ruskin, was therapeutic. It allowed him to meditate on every aspect of
the physical world, to examine the minute details of a landscape or
architectural site, to gather information and gain knowledge. He drew
to observe and understand the world around him.
A 376-page catalogue with richly coloured illustrations accompanies John Ruskin: Artist and Observer. Christopher Newall's perceptive essay on Ruskin's drawings offers an
examination of the experiences that influenced his draftmanship, while
Conal Shields' essay astutely places Ruskin within the context of the
art world. Ian Jeffrey has also contributed a fascinating essay
chronicling the significance of the daguerreotype in Ruskin's works.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Director Christopher Baker also pens
an essay on Ruskin's experience in Scotland. The catalogue is on sale
at the NGC Bookstore for $45 and at www.ShopNGC.ca, the Gallery's online boutique.
Meet the Expert
Friday, February 14 at 2 pm, tour the exhibition with curator Christopher Newall. In the exhibition
space. Free with gallery admission. In English with bilingual question
Saturday, February 15 at 2 pm, The innocent eye: John Ruskin Revealed, by curator Christopher Newall.
Free with gallery admission. In English with simultaneous
interpretation and bilingual question period.
Ruskin Spotlight Talks
Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm, 10-minute talks on a work in the exhibition. In English.
Thursday Night Drawings
Thursdays from 6 to 8 pm, observational drawing session in the exhibition space. Free with
gallery admission. Bilingual.
Thursdays February 20, March 20, and April 24 at 6 pm. In the Lecture Hall. Free with gallery admission. In English. This is Civilization, Episode 3, Save Our Souls, 2007. 49 minutes. Artist and critic Matthew Collings explores John
Ruskin's ideas and his impact.
Music in the Galleries
Sunday, February 16 at 3 pm: René Gely performs music from the 19th century. Sunday, March 16 at 3 pm: Fabien Tousignant performs music from the 19th century.
Saturday, February 15 at 2 pm. Town and Country: Ruskin's Travels, by curator Christopher Newall. Free with gallery admission. In English
with simultaneous interpretation and bilingual question period.
Walk through the exhibition with the national collection's audioguide
and discover some 20 artworks from different themes. 6$ rental.
NGCmagazine.ca, the National Gallery of Canada's online magazine, is a frequently
updated source of information on the Canadian art world and events at
the National Gallery of Canada. Correspondents from across the country
provide engaging and exclusive content on historical and contemporary
art in Canada. This online magazine also includes interviews with
artists. This month, read the article John Ruskin: Echoes of Stones.
Connect with the Gallery
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Tickets: $12 (adults); $10 (seniors and full-time students); $6 (youth:
12-19); $24 (families: two adults and three youth). Admission is free
for children under the age of 12 and for Members. Includes admission to
the NGC Collection.
The NGC is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays
until 8 p.m. Closed Mondays, including Remembrance Day, November 11.
Open between December 26 and 31. Closed on December 25 and January 1.
For more information call 613-990-1985 or 1-800-319-ARTS.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections
of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains
Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st
century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous
Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and
photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played
a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its
principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for
all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art
exhibition programme. For more information: gallery.ca.
SOURCE: National Gallery of Canada
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