Interior of San Frediano, Lucca

John Ruskin, 1819 - 1900

Interior of San Frediano, Lucca

John Ruskin 1819 - 1900


A Romanesque architectural interior. View of the nave of a church with corinthian columns supporting arches and a vaulted roof. Above a series of arches to the right is a wall with a relief sculpture and above this is a row of small arched windows. There is a font to the left foreground and another to the right between the rows of columns. There is a round window over a doorway to the left background. Light falling only on the right side of the nave. John Ruskin visited San Frediano cathedral in Lucca, Tuscany, in May 1845 and wrote about it to his parents: "Such a church - so old - 680 probably - Lombard - all glorious dark arches and columns - covered with holy frescoes - and gemmed gold pictures on blue grounds...(3rd May). By eight I am ready to go out...I go to the old Lombard church of which I told you, for the people hardly frequent this (owing to its age and gloom I suppose)...There I draw among the frescoes and mosaics...until 12 o'clock" (6th May)..."I'm never satisfied now with my architectural sketches unless I have measures and details...I got floored in the Lombard church in Lucca altogether" (28th May). Ruskin also describes the church in Modern Painters Volume II "...the pure and severe arcades of finely proportioned columns at San Frediano...struck me dumb with admiration and amazement; and...on the instant, I began, in the nave of San Frediano, the course of architectural study which reduced under accurate law the vague enthusiasm of my childish taste..."

Object Name

Interior of San Frediano, Lucca

Creators Name

John Ruskin

Date Created



support: 33.8cm x 48.5cm

accession number


Place of creation







© Manchester Art Gallery

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