Melvyn Bragg discusses the life and work of John Ruskin, art and social critic, and one of the most influential figures of the Victorian era.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and work of John Ruskin. He was the most brilliant art critic of his age, perhaps the most brilliant that Britain has ever produced, but he was much more than that. A champion of Turner and an enemy of Whistler, he placed the study of art and architecture at the heart of a moral assault on Victorian life. In the stone work of a Gothic cathedral, Ruskin saw all that was right about medieval society and all that was wrong about his own capitalist age.But why was Ruskin so critical of his own time? What deep currents of thought infused his ideas? And how much does our thinking, about society, the environment, art and work owe to this unusual man?With Dinah Birch, Professor of English, Liverpool University; Keith Hanley, Professor of English Literature and Director of the Ruskin Programme, Lancaster University; Stefan Collini, Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature, University of Cambridge.