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12 March 2020John Ruskin 1819-1900
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John Ruskin 1819-1900 Denis Moriarty Thursday 12 March 2020

In our somewhat prurient present day, John Ruskin has perhaps the misfortune to be remembered mainly for his failed marriage to Effie, and the famous libel case involving J. M. Whistler, yet he strides his century as an English writer, artist and critic, social reformer and philanthropist. He was foremost in shaping public taste and aesthetics, and was a talented and prolific artist, especially of architecture and landscape. He had a great love of nature, nurtured by his interest in botany and geology, and as a forerunner of William Morris and his circle, he was a proponent of beauty and function going hand-in-hand, with a deep concern for the relationship between art, morality and social justice. This lecture, following a biographical structure, is illustrated with paintings that caught his critic's eye, extracts of his influential architectural writing, and the backdrop of various locations- the Lake District and Venice among them, with which he is ever associated.

Denis Moriarty spent most of his early working life as a BBC TV and Music and Arts producer.    He was educated at Reading School, and after national service read history at St John’s College, Oxford.   Among his programmes at the BBC were a series of English Towns with Alec Clifton-Taylor, Face The Music with Joseph Cooper and Joyce Grenfell, One Hundred Great Paintings, and films on Egypt for Chronicle and Timewatch.  He lectures widely for The Arts Society, and addresses meetings of the National Trust, English summer festivals, civic and literary societies.   He has directed study tours at home and abroad including many different music festivals, and has also led architectural and historical tours.