The Seven Lamps of Architecture - John Ruskin [1819-1900] 1849 - Smith, London - First Edition Ruskin’s classic and highly influential work, ‘immensely ambitious in scope. The seven ‘lamps’ – memory, obedience, sacrifice, truth, power, beauty and life – are in fact individual essays which add up to a comprehensive theory of architecture. The background to the theory, and the spirit which pervades it, is Romanticism, the cultural movement which swept all before it at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. The Lamp of Memory deals with architectural tradition and the way that architecture can express a culture and a period.’   ‘According to Ruskin, the leading principles of architecture are the "lamps" of Sacrifice, Truth, Power, Beauty, Life, Memory, and Obedience. The noblest style of architecture was Gothic, but in time medieval architecture had lost the power to resist innovation. This loss of vitality was the result of the spiritual decline of Christianity during the materialistic Renaissance. The essay took the studies of a generation of medievalists and provided them with a general framework and a moral flavor’. - Mirriam-Webster.

In his embarrasment about the plates taken from his own sketches he apologies in the introduction, and they were later re-engraved by R.B. Cuff. -
‘Every apology is, however, due to the reader for the hasty and imperfect execution of the plates. Having much more serious work in hand, and desiring merely to render them illustrative of my meaning, I have sometimes very completely failed even of that humble aim; and the text, being generally written before the illustration was completed, sometimes naively describes as sublime or beautiful features which the plates represents by a blot. I shall be grateful if the reader will in such cases refer the expressions of praise to the Architecture, and not to the illustrations’.

8vo (25.7 x 17.4 cm) pp. viii [4] errata slip, 205 [1] [1 advertisement] [16 publishers catalogue dated July 1850].
  Condition: Very good plus, neatly rebacked with original spine laid down and new end-papers, internally clean, with only one or two minor spots to several leaves, slightly heavier to one or two plates.   Ref: 105603   Price: HK$ 3,800