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Title: The artistic relationship between John Ruskin and Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Author: Berg, Margaret Anne
ISNI:       0000 0000 6615 242X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1979
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This is the first single study of the relationship between John Ruskin and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and the first to claim a similarity between their Aesthetic ideas. The assumption that Rossetti merely tolerated Ruskin for the sake of his patronage has discouraged the search for any significant intellectual exchange. No previous explanation has been sought for Ruskin's insistence, despite even Rossetti's opposition, that Rossetti was the intellectual leader of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement. This analysis reveals that Ruskin favoured Rossetti's art for qualities which he is not usually held to have admired in Pre-Raphaelitism, and which he began to emphasise soon after meeting Rossetti. Although Rossetti's reputed indifference to Ruskin is partly the result of the one-sided impression afforded by the imbalance of the extant correspondence it is also because all previous accounts of the relationship have been selective and have therefore perpetrated a superficial impression of conflict. A comprehensive and detailed examination of the correspondence has revealed that the particular disagreements were made possible by a fundamental sympathy. The relationship which emerged seems to have been, contrary to prevailing opinion, initiated by common aims, sustained by mutual professional respect, and dissolved by developing ideological differences. Having established the possibility of mutual influence between Ruskin and Rossetti, the thesis analyses the common theory of creativity underlying the work produced during their ten-year friendship. There follows a discussion of two aspects of Rossetti f s creative practice towards which Ruskin showed unequalled sensitivity, presumably as a result of his own artistic preoccupations: the Symbolic or Grotesque power, and the reliance upon Memory. Ruskin's collection of Rossettis;- is discussed, and an explanation offered for the apparent discrepancy between his public and private opinions of Rossetti's work. Finally it is claimed that Rossetti's affinity with Ruskin modifies his links with Aestheticism. This study hopes not only to justify the analysis of the Aesthetic ideas common to Ruskin and Rossetti, but also to consider its implications for both Pre-Raphaelitism and Aestheticism.
Supervisor: Richards, Bernard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Aesthetics ; Influence ; Aesthetics, British ; Pre-Raphaelitism ; 19th century ; England