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The Britannia Inn

John Ruskin & Brantwood

By Paul Fry, 14 February 2012 – 0 comment

John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political economy.

His writing styles and literary forms were equally varied. Ruskin penned essays and treatises, poetry and lectures, travel guides and manuals, letters and even a fairy tale. The elaborate style that characterised his earliest writing on art was later superseded by a preference for plainer language designed to communicate his ideas more effectively. In all of his writing, he emphasised the connections between nature, art and society.

He also made detailed sketches and paintings of rocks, plants, birds, landscapes, and architectural structures and ornamentation. (www.wikipedia.com)

From 1872 to 1900 Ruskin lived at Brantwood House, Coniston which is 15 minutes drive from the the Britannia Inn.

The House is filled with Ruskin's treasures: paintings, furniture, objects d'art and his personal memorabilia.

Brantwood is a registered museum, but is still kept very much as a home. The house affords a unique opportunity to look into the daily life of one of England’s most important social and cultural figures. The atmosphere at Brantwood is special, and because so many of Ruskin’s possessions remain, it feels as if the man himself has just stepped out into the garden!

Visitors to the house are introduced to Ruskin’s world by a brief introductory video and are then free to explore the seven historical rooms which he occupied during his lifetime, all of which are filled with his furniture, art and objects. Visitors are given a small printed guide to the rooms, and volunteer stewards are on hand to answer questions. For younger visitors there are a range of quizzes and activity sheets.

The visit to the house also includes the Blue Gallery where there is a changing programme of specially curated exhibitions. http://www.brantwood.org.uk/index.htm

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