Jeremy Melius is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tufts University, where he specializes in modern art and art writing, as well as the afterlives of Renaissance culture. His writings have appeared in Art History, October, Critical Inquiry, and elsewhere. He is currently completing a book entitled The Invention of Botticelli and at work on another concerning the fraught relation between Ruskin and Art History.
This project reconsiders the Victorian critic John Ruskin’s intense investments in Italian Renaissance art, architecture, and culture as they played out over the course of his long career. Displacing attention from his early denunciations of the Renaissance towards the richer, more elusive account that came to the fore in Ruskin’s later writings, it seek to bring into focus his grappling with the difficult, emergent modernity of Renaissance culture and to develop out of it an approach that might allow us to address that difficulty anew.