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The Stones of Venice: Volume II. The Sea-Stories

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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 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.


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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 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.

40 review for The Stones of Venice: Volume II. The Sea-Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa E.

    A great primary source, but difficult to find useful for contemporary readers other than as an example of past art historical style and thought. Often painfully detailed and descriptive - this approach is more successful in the illustrated analysis of ornament and architectural form than in the seemingly endless listing of the features of every column on the Ducal Palace. The latter, while essential to pre-20th-C readers who could not visit Venice, is utterly useless to an audience who now can a A great primary source, but difficult to find useful for contemporary readers other than as an example of past art historical style and thought. Often painfully detailed and descriptive - this approach is more successful in the illustrated analysis of ornament and architectural form than in the seemingly endless listing of the features of every column on the Ducal Palace. The latter, while essential to pre-20th-C readers who could not visit Venice, is utterly useless to an audience who now can access photographs of these works and see for themselves what Ruskin endeavors to put into words for scores of boring pages. The entire volume is very uneven in its treatment of various monuments - the Murano cathedral section is quite balanced between architectural description, aesthetic analysis, and religious interpretation, but others devolve into long subjective rants about culture or theology that say more about British society than Italian art.

  2. 5 out of 5

    EJ Daniels

    In the second volume in this famous trilogy, John Ruskin offers an extremely in-depth, if also extremely subjective, assessment of Venetian architecture during the high points of Venetian economic and imperial expansion. Emphasizing strongly the apex of Venetian artistic creativity as realized through a cosmopolitan approach to beauty, this volume neatly, perhaps too neatly, attempts to place Venetian culture as a heterogeneous amalgamation. With a critical approach typical of the Victorian Peri In the second volume in this famous trilogy, John Ruskin offers an extremely in-depth, if also extremely subjective, assessment of Venetian architecture during the high points of Venetian economic and imperial expansion. Emphasizing strongly the apex of Venetian artistic creativity as realized through a cosmopolitan approach to beauty, this volume neatly, perhaps too neatly, attempts to place Venetian culture as a heterogeneous amalgamation. With a critical approach typical of the Victorian Period, one will receive an excessive amount of postulating, hyperbole, and florid prose, but the result is still an extremely important and gorgeously written example of exceptional writing on architecture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Fay

    Have you asked yourself - what is it about St. Marks' Square that has fascinated artists, architects and ordinary travelers for hundreds of years? If so, the second volume of Ruskin's Stones of Venice will add tremendously to your appreciation of the near perfect architecture of the two principal buildings in Venice - St. Marks and the Doges' Palace. Ruskin has a great eye for craftsmanship and the finer points of the decorations while painstakingly measuring the layout and overall design to ill Have you asked yourself - what is it about St. Marks' Square that has fascinated artists, architects and ordinary travelers for hundreds of years? If so, the second volume of Ruskin's Stones of Venice will add tremendously to your appreciation of the near perfect architecture of the two principal buildings in Venice - St. Marks and the Doges' Palace. Ruskin has a great eye for craftsmanship and the finer points of the decorations while painstakingly measuring the layout and overall design to illustrate the highly developed sense of proportion achieved by the architects of 13th and 14th century Venice. He also does an excellent job placing the buildings in context as the closest things to sacred and historical texts available to the pious and mostly illiterate 13th century population. Although St. Marks can induce sensory overload with its wealth of mosaic and architectural decoration, Ruskin makes sense of it, describing the meaning of each mosaic and the reason for its location. He applies the same detailed analysis to the Doges' Palace comparing the style and quality of work at different locations to tease out the timeline of the construction and repairs. Ruskin's beautiful illustrations alone are justification for picking up a copy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nada Afif

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steve Owen

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ty

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  8. 5 out of 5

    Greg

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    Ian

  10. 5 out of 5

    Iryna Ivanova

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ned

  12. 5 out of 5

    Doug

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hanny

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cherye Elliott

  15. 4 out of 5

    Burl Horniachek

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kin Cosner

  17. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Regueira

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kahukusaint

  21. 4 out of 5

    James

  22. 5 out of 5

    Iroulito91

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robert Sweet

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jameso

  25. 5 out of 5

    Harrison Library

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kiana

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anush

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dherapat Note

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  30. 4 out of 5

    Allison

  31. 5 out of 5

    Fragile Butterflies

  32. 4 out of 5

    Niklas

  33. 4 out of 5

    Amani Irsheid

  34. 4 out of 5

    Marina

  35. 4 out of 5

    Clarke

  36. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  37. 4 out of 5

    Gina Lewis

  38. 4 out of 5

    Nattaphat Tantipanichphan

  39. 4 out of 5

    James Linde

  40. 5 out of 5

    Irena Dijete Treša

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