The Stones of Venice (book)

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The Stones of Venice
Kelmscott Press - The Nature of Gothic by John Ruskin (first page).jpg
The Nature of Gothic in a Kelmscott Press edition. First page of text, with ornamented border.
Author John Ruskin
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publication date
1851 - 1853
Preceded by The Seven Lamps of Architecture

For the 2001 Dr Who spin-off, see The Stones of Venice (audio drama)

The Stones of Venice is a three-volume treatise on Venetian art and architecture by English art historian John Ruskin, first published from 1851 to 1853. Intending to prove how the architecture in Venice exemplified the principles he discussed in his earlier work, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Ruskin examined the city in detail, describing for example over eighty churches. He discusses architecture of Venice's Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance periods, and provides a general history of the city as well.

The Stones of Venice aroused considerable interest in Victorian Britain and beyond. The chapter "The Nature of Gothic" (from volume 2) was admired by William Morris, who published it separately in an edition which is in itself an example of Gothic revival. The book inspired Marcel Proust (the narrator of the Recherche visits Venice with his mother in a state of enthusiasm for Ruskin) and in 2010 Roger Scruton wrote that the book was, "the greatest description in English of a place made sacred by buildings".[1]

Various shortened editions of the book have been published, including one edited by J.G. Links published in the USA in 1960.[2]

Publication history, first editions[edit]

  • The Stones of Venice. Volume the First. The Foundations, 1851, Smith, Elder & Co., London
  • The Stones of Venice. Volume the Second. The Sea-stories, 1853, Smith, Elder & Co., London
  • The Stones of Venice. Volume the Third. The Fall, 1853, Smith, Elder & Co., London


  1. ^ Scruton, Roger (November 2010). "The Wilderness Obsession". Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  2. ^ John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice, ed. by J.G. Links 1960. ISBN 978-0-306-81286-6.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]