John Ruskin1841

The Ruskin Library

The Ruskin Library

Ruskin travelled with his parents through France and Italy on a tour between autumn and winter 1840 and spring of 1841. Working their way along the coast of Italy through Genoa, Lucca, Florence and Pisa they spent December in Rome before moving on to Naples early in January 1841. Staying in Naples until 25th of February Ruskin made daily excursions to the surrounding area including Pompeii and Vesuvius. Ruskin passed close to Pompeii on 6 February 1841, and wrote in his diary “a striking scene, but it was partly revolting that the people, who were walking among the desolation of their own hearths, and over the dead bodies of their relations, were laughing as the guides pointed out the chief sites of the calamity, and the children playing and scampering among the fallen walls.” When he did finally visit the city on 12 February he found “Pompeii much finer and more affecting than I supposed. … I enjoyed it excessively”.

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