This exhibition examines Ruskin’s relationship with Turner’s work and the impact Ruskin had in highlighting climate change.

Ruskin (1819-1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, prominent social thinker and philanthropist.

JMW Turner (1775-1881) was a landscape painter, traveller, poet and teacher, and considered by many to be the first modern painter. Ruskin was a lifelong supporter, calling Turner 'the greatest of the age’.

In 1884 Ruskin wrote about an encroaching 'Storm Cloud' – a darkening of the skies that he attributed to the belching chimneys of the modern world. Bringing together Victorian and contemporary works of art, the exhibition demonstrates the unsettling messages underpinning Ruskin’s eye for beauty in the natural world. His anxiety about darkening skies and polluted storm clouds is contrasted with his early interest in Turner’s luminous pictures.

The exhibition contains a substantial display of Turner’s watercolours, demonstrating his evolving style, and his creation of highly-finished sample studies of British and alpine landscapes.

19th century artPrints & drawingsPaintingNorth

Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Abbot Hall, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5AL

01539 722464


Opening times

Open Monday to Saturday

1st November - 28th February

The Gallery: 10:30am - 4:00 pm

Last Admission: 3:30pm

The Bakestone: 10:00am - 5:00pm

1st March - 31st October

The Gallery: 10:30am - 5:00pm

Last Admission: 4:30pm

The Bakestone: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Free entry with National Art Pass

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