“THE POWER OF SEEING MOUNTAINS… DEPENDS ON THE CULTIVATION OF THE INSTRUMENT OF SIGHT ITSELF, AND OF THE SOUL THAT USES IT”: FIRST EDITION OF RUSKIN’S DEUCALION, HANDSOMELY BOUND
RUSKIN, John. Deucalion. Collected Studies of the Lapse of Waves, and Life of Stones. Sunnyside, Orpington, Kent: George Allen, 1879 [i.e. 1883]. Two volumes in one. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red morocco, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt. $450.
First edition in book form of Ruskin’s writings on the art of natural forms, with 11 lithographic plates (two hand-colored), many after drawings by Ruskin, along with additional in-text illustrations. Handsomely bound in red morocco.
“In the whole history of art-criticism John Ruskin stands out as a giant.” It was Ruskin “who, in the English-speaking world left the most direct and visible imprint of his tastes and thought… [with] theories founded on great imaginative penetration, on true analytical power, on considerable executive ability in draughtsmanship, and on a close study of nature that extended to such things as cloud forms and mineralogy” (Kunitz & Haycraft, 538). Intended as a series of lectures and issued in eight parts from 1875-83, this study of mountains, rocks, minerals and glaciers reflects Ruskin’s longtime interest in the aesthetics of science, his love of “paradox and willful mystification” and his belief that the “teaching of art was the teaching of everything” (DNB). First edition in book form, with Volume I containing parts 1-6, issued 1875-79, and Volume II with parts 7-8, issued 1880-83. Paper wrappers of parts 1, 7 & 8 bound in at rear. Owner signature.
Some dampstaining, occasionally affecting plates. A handsomely bound copy in near-fine condition.