John Ruskin

John Ruskin

John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, botany and political economy.

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No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter he can only be a builder.

No person who is well bred kind and modest is ever offensively plain, all real deformity means want for manners or of heart.

Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.

It is his restraint that is honorable to a person not their liberty.

Tell me what you like and I'll tell you what you are.

There is never vulgarity in a whole truth however commonplace. It may be unimportant or painful. It cannot be vulgar. Vulgarity is only in concealment of truth or in affectation.

I believe the right question to ask respecting all ornament is simply this, was it done with enjoyment was the carver happy while he was about it?

What do we as a nation care about books? How much do you think we spend altogether on our libraries public or private as compared with what we spend on our horses?

He is the greatest artist who has embodied in the sum of his works the greatest number of the greatest ideas.

The sky is the part of creation in which nature has done for the sake of pleasing man.

Let us reform our schools and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons.

It seems a fantastic paradox but it is nevertheless a most important truth that no architecture can be truly noble which is not imperfect.

Whereas it has long been known and declared that the poor have no right to the property of the rich I wish it also to be known and declared that the rich have no right to the property of the poor.

A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.

Men don't and can't live by exchanging articles but by producing them. They don't live by trade but by work. Give up that foolish and vain title of Trades Unions, and take that of laborers Unions.

The principle of all successful effort is to try to do not what is absolutely the best but what is easily within our power and suited for our temperament and condition.

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world... to see clearly is poetry prophecy and religion all in one.

We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it.

When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece.

Modern education has devoted itself to the teaching of impudence, and then we complain that we can no longer control our mobs.

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