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Division, Juncture, System: Bridges and Bridge-Building in the Work of John Ruskin

Paul Tucker    Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italia    

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abstract

This chapter starts by considering a recent design for a bridge named after Ruskin, whose inadequacy it attributes to disregard for Ruskin's definition of a bridge's basic function as that of safe passage over a river and misapplication of his concept of ‘abstract lines’ as ornament. For Ruskin, curvature determined by that function allowed bridges materially to trace such lines and so epitomize general laws governing landscape composition, natural morphology and human co-existence. Taking it as a figure of connection, threaded as a clue through his work, the chapter explores Ruskin's sense of the significance and sacredness of bridges, manifested especially in the role he assigned to an ideal Pontifex, guarantor of secure passage across national, cultural and cognitive divides.

Published
Dec. 15, 2020
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-488-2
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-487-5

Keywords: OrnamentRuskinSpuybroekBridgesCompositionArchitectureEuropeTurner

Copyright: © 2020 Paul Tucker. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted in unadapted form only and provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.