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Ruskin, John

The seven lamps of architecture.

London, Smith, Elder & Co 1849.

Reference: 13632
Price: £195 [convert currency]

Full Description

4to. viii + (4) + 205 + (1)pp, errata slip, 14 plates etched by Ruskin from his own drawings, 16pp publisher’s adverts at end, also printed slip dated 1850 announcing that Ruskin’s Stones of Venice is “preparing for publication”. Publisher’s decorative stamped cloth (with design on upper and lower covers which features the Seven Lamps of Architecture), rebacked with recent cloth spine. Ink presentation inscription dated 26 February 1850 on front free endpaper, from J.A.Lefroy to C.H.Abraham. Also small printed ticket of Masters (booksellers), 78 New Bond Street.

First edition of Ruskin’s celebrated book discussing architecture in terms of the lamps of sacrifice, truth, beauty, power, life, memory and obedience. Its direct or subliminal influence on attitudes to architecture in nineteenth-century Britain and further afield was profound, even if his lamps give “not so much light but splendour” (the phrase is Whewell’s, quoted by Pevsner, Some Architectural Writers, 1972, p.152).