Ruskin 200, “Unto this Last”
Memories on John Ruskin

Lucca | Florence | Verona, 28-29-30 November 2019


The University of Florence, Alma Mater Studiorum | University of Bologna, University of Verona, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca and The Ruskin – Library, Museum and Research Centre, University of Lancaster, marking 2019 the bicentenary of the birth of John Ruskin (London, February 8, 1819 – Brantwood, January 20, 1999), one of the most representative intellectuals of the 19th century English society, organise a series of celebratory events.

Knowledgeable about the most varied topics, Ruskin is a pioneer who lived between different ages, and whose contribution has marked a fundamental moment for the history of culture on an international level, in distant and diverse realities such as Japan, where his writings begun to circulate already in 1888, thus giving rise to an interest on his work still widespread.
Italy is a special place for Ruskin as being interesting at social and environmental levels, and even more for the widespread architectural heritage or its individual monumental landmarks. An interest proved by a wide range of works, from The Stones of Venice (1851-1853) to Mornings in Florence (1875). Between the end of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century, there have been many scholars and artists who referred to his thinking, and many who had a personal relationship with him.
Furthermore, his thinking has significantly influenced many of the leading theorists of restoration in Italy, from Camillo Boito to Gustavo Giovannoni, and has then been recalled later.

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth, it is deemed necessary to illustrate new views and considerations on the relationship between John Ruskin and Italy by organizing some initiatives aimed at encouraging debate and discussion on many aspects of his work.
Two conferences by invitation in Lucca (November 28) and Verona (November 30) will be joined by a conference in Florence (November 29) with papers selected through the following call for papers. The papers selected will be published in a special issue of “Restauro Archeologico” (an A-class Academic Journal). The program of the conferences will be combined with a call for sketchbooks (deadline September 30, 2019) devoted to the representation of Ruskin’s places by different media, as well as two Summer Schools.
The conference to be held at DIDA (Department of the Architecture) | Università degli Studi di Firenze on November 29, 2019 welcomes contributions on the following topics:

A. Tour

1.Travel literature

2.The value of landscape and its transformation

3.The city as social outcome

4. Center and outskirts: Ruskin’s places

B. Protection and Preservation

1. Theoretical contribution

2. Educational value of Architecture

3. Sociality of Architecture

4. Ruskin’s legacy

5. The influence of Ruskin theories in Italy

C. From drawing to photography

1. Documentation for knowledge

2. Use of technical tools

3. Value of observation

4. Drawing and Academia

5. Travel notebooks

D. Language, Literature, Dissemination

1. Ruskin language

2. Publishers and Printers

3. International dissemination

4. Translations and dissemination

5. Ruskin writings

E. Time, History and Historiography

1. Chronology and temporality

2. Sources

3. The problem of style

4. From the “character” of architecture to history of architecture


How to participate (Conference in Florence, November 29, 2019)

Conference languages are Italian and English


To participate in the conference, it is required to submit a preliminary abstract (Italian or English), complete enough, stating aims, methodology and results. The abstract (max 2000 characters including spaces) has to include title, name of the author/s, Organization/Institution, e-mail, from 3 to 5 keywords, and the “Code” which identifies the paper (specify the letter of the session – A, B, C, D, E – and the number of the specific topic).

Deadline for the submission is April 15, 2019. The abstract has to be sent to in pdf format and named as follows: Surname, initial of Name_letter of the session (A/B/C/D/E), number of topic (1, 2, 3…)

Example: RossiA_A2.pdf

The authors will be informed about the admission to the conference (abstracts will be examined by the members of the conference Scientific Committee) by April 30, 2019.

The authors of the selected scientific papers will be requested to send an extended paper that will be subject to double review. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to request the author, if needed, to make changes/additions suggested by the referees.

The instructions for completing the extended paper will be available soon on


April 15, 2019: submission of preliminary abstract

April 30, 2019: notice of admission to the conference

June 30, 2019: submission of full paper (about 20.000 characters, 5 images)

July 20, 2019: acceptance of full paper


Conference fees: 200€

Reduced fees for SIRA members: 180€

Papers accepted for the conference are expected to be published in a special issue of the journal “Restauro Archeologico” (an A-class Academic Journal) which will be provided to the authors.