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 a call for papers. The program of the conferences will be combined with a call for sketchbook (deadline September 30, 2019) devoted to the representation of Ruskin’s places by different media, as well as two Summer Schools.