The Work of Iron, in Nature, Art, and Policy: A Lecture Delivered at Tunbridge Wells, February 16, 1858 | John Ruskin
This lecture was delivered at Tunbridge Wells on February 16, 1858, and later reprinted in The Two Paths, being Lectures on Art, and its application to Decoration and Manufacture(1878). It is a typical piece of Ruskin’s lecturing style (not least in its length) and range of reference. He seeks at the start (this is omitted here) to position himself vis-à-vis his audience, noting a childhood visit to the town and explaining that he did not have any drawings to display and musing on what he might be able to communicate to them that evening. Then he explores how iron is used and received in the three areas that his title announces, and in the process admits—as he notes in the 1878 Preface—to “find them full of things which I did not know I had said.” He notes that his address is directed to “the general student, and to indicate their practical bearing on modern design,” which law he describes as “the dependence of all noble design, in any kind, on the sculpture or painting of Organic Form.”—John Dixon Hunt
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