Ruskin, Selected Pages and St. Mark's Rest
RUSKIN. Pages choisies,1 with introduction by M. Robert de La Sizeranne. Paris, Hachette & Co, 1908. One vol. in-16, 266 p. w. portrait.
RUSKIN. Le Repos de Saint-Marc. Histoire de Venise pour les rares voyageurs qui se soucient encore de ses monuments.2 Translated from the English by Mlle K. Johnston. Paris, Hachette & Co, 1908. One vol. in-16, x-272p., w. notes, and 4 plates.
Popular in the English speaking world to the extent few other writers have been, Ruskin is still known in this country only to a public particularly drawn to the aesthete. But, as can be judged from these Pages choisies, there is in his immense output plenty to interest all types and almost all ages of readers. Its tone, like its subject, is very varied: anecdotes, descriptions, humorous railleries, soaring poetry follow one after the other, in varying proportions, and make this little collection a veritable choice for ideal reading, available to all.
Classic in its composition and subjects, this collection is that too in its form. M. Robert de La Sizeranne has written the introduction with an authority that even the English themselves acknowledge for his studies on English painting and on Ruskin.
In the second of these works, it is almost the entire history of Venice that is evoked in this book. In it the author describes, with comments of an eloquence and originality that they deserve, the marvels of the basilica of St. Mark. The famous mosaics in which are set down the piety of centuries, sculptures that synthesize the soul of a great people from a bygone age, paintings in which Carpaccio has traced the splendours of his minute symbolism, are explained by the master with simplicity, sureness and peerless wisdom.
For those who, setting out on a voyage, wish to obtain a guide to act as an aesthetic paraphrase of that ancient and sumptuous city, Ruskin's book, excellently translated by Mlle K. Johnston, would be the most eloquent, the most discerning of advisors.
Chronique des arts et de la curiosité, 26 Dec 1908.
1. Selected Pages.
2. St. Mark's Rest. The history of Venice. Written for the help of the few travellers who still care for her monuments.
Attributed to Proust by Philip Kolb with the following caveat:"The article is not signed, and does not seem very characteristic of Proust. We only know for certain that he possessed a copy of Le Repos de Saint-Marc, in which he had written notes in the margin of the preface."
Return to Front Page