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An authoritative work interspersed with nearly one hundred of John Ruskin’s Swiss drawings recounts his lifelong interest in Switzerland. Hayman provides a chronological account of Ruskin’s visits to Switzerland from his earliest travels in 1833 and 1835 and his frequent tours of the 1840s to the final visits in the 1880s. Of particular concern is Ruskin’s intention between approximately 1855 and 1865 to engrave his own drawings of Swiss towns for a work illustrative of Swiss history. Drawings of the historic Swiss towns in which Ruskin was most interested — Baden, Bellinzona, Brugg, Fribourg, Geneva, Laufenburg, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Rheinfelden, Schaffhausen, and Thun — are introduced by excerpts from John Murray’s A Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland (1856). Hayman has traced a great many Swiss drawings Ruskin referred to in his letters and diaries and has located twenty-three previously unpublished ones which appear in his book. Ruskin’s well-documented defence of J.M.W. Turner is also brought to light as the author has juxtaposed reproductions of Turner’s sketches of Swiss towns with drawings by Ruskin.
This work will not only interest scholars and students of Ruskin but should also pique the interest of Turner scholars.