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John Ruskin (1819-1900) and Adrian Stokes (1902-1972): Venice and the architecture of colour-form

Kite, Stephen ORCID: 2010. John Ruskin (1819-1900) and Adrian Stokes (1902-1972): Venice and the architecture of colour-form. Presented at: Colour and Light in Architecture - International Conference, IUAV University of Venice, Faculty of Architecture, Venice, Italy, 11-12 November 2010. Published in: Zennaro, P. ed. Verona: Knemesi, pp. 32-38.

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John Ruskin and Adrian Stokes are two of the greatest aesthetic writers on Venice. On the basis of extended empirical and archive research, this paper interprets what Stokes called the “architecture of colour-form” in Venice. Stokes’s Venice is a Renaissance city, Ruskin’s a Gothic one; but Stokes rejects the Florentine privileging of disegno over colore, stressing the reciprocity of colour and form in Venetian art and architecture. Gazing at the city’s listons of gleaming Istrian zone and dark lagoon-washed aperture he portrays a “Venice [that] excels in blackness and whiteness; water brings commerce between them”. His colour system looks to the psychologies of Alberti and Goethe who defined colour as a “balancing of white and black” and as “degrees of darkness”. In contrast to Stokes, Ruskin emphasises the incrusted polychromy of Venice, and argues that the “first great principle of architectural colour” is that it should be “visibly independent of form”.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: John Ruskin, Adrian Stokes, Incrustation, Colour and Form
Publisher: Knemesi
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 08:14

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