Friday 8 February 2019, 6.30 — 8pm at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London
A celebration of the 200th birthday of the visionary art critic and social reformer John Ruskin, with readings by actors Michael Palin and Dan Draper and music performed by tenor Richard Edgar-Wilson, accompanied by the Coull Quartet.
John Ruskin, one of the most important writers and thinkers of the 19th century, was born on 8 February 1819. To honour the bicentenary of his birth we present a portrait of this trenchant art critic and passionate social reformer in an evening of readings from his books and letters. Ruskin’s critiques of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, Academy Notes, along with his defence of Turner and promotion of the Pre-Raphaelites, were a profound influence on Victorian taste. This event celebrates Ruskin’s ideas and values, and tells the story of his troubled life.
Ruskin’s words will be read by actors Michael Palin and Dan Draper, with songs by Ruskin performed by the tenor Richard Edgar-Wilson, accompanied by the Coull Quartet. The music, realised by composer Sarah Rodgers, includes a complete performance of her setting of Ruskin’s fairy tale, The King of the Golden River.
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