Our relationship with the environment and questions about mental health are explored through the watercolours and drawings of two of the most celebrated artists of the 19th century in this major new exhibition.
To celebrate Ruskin’s 200th birthday, Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud: Watercolours and Drawings considers the eloquent critical relationship John Ruskin (1819-1900) had with the landscapes of J M W Turner (1775-1851).
Through new research, it will reveal Ruskin’s response to Turner’s vision, together with his own experience of close looking at weather patterns, mountains and the built environment. For the first time, works are brought together from York Art Gallery and partner Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, with substantial loans from national and regional collections and new commissions by contemporary artists.
As well as a dozen works by Turner and more than 40 by Ruskin, the exhibition will also include art by their contemporaries such as Constable, John Inchbold and Hubert Herkomer. Contemporary artist Emma Stibbon RA, has been commissioned to create a contemporary response to the concerns raised by Ruskin. In the summer of 2018 she retraced his steps, travelling to Chamonix to draw and photograph the glaciers around Mont Blanc. Through powerful, large-scale pencil drawings, she reflects on the effects of climate change on Alpine landscapes treasured by Ruskin and Turner.
After York Art Gallery, the exhibition will also be on display at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, from July 11 to October 5 2019.