The Edinburgh Lectures

In the Autumn of 1853 the great Victorian critic John Ruskin delivered four lectures at the Philosophical Institution in Queen Street, Edinburgh.

The first two lectures - on Architecture - swung a wrecking ball at Edinburgh's sense of civic pride in its New Town, the Athens of the North. He told his audience they shouldn't be building Greek, but Gothic.

His next lecture, on landscape painting, was a passionate defence of J.M.W. Turner, who had died only two years before. His moving account of the artist's final years still brings a lump to the throat.

Ruskin's last lecture, on contemporary painting, focused on a scandalous group of Young British Artists calling themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Ruskin's disparaging remarks on Edinburgh's newest piece of public art - the equestrian statue of Wellington at the end of the North Bridge - were loudly hissed by the audience. A hundred and fifty years later, the Edinburgh Lectures still entertain and provoke.

The buildings Ruskin spoke of still stand and a walk through the city will never be the same after hearing him!

For booking information click here
Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, The Mound

Architecture I (Mon 8Aug)
Architecture II (Tue 9Aug)
Turner & his Works (Thu 11 Aug)
Pre-Raphaelitism (Fri 12Aug)

All Performances start at 3.00 p.m. and last an hour and a quarter