John Ruskin Biography

John Ruskin Biography

Famous English art critic, social thinker, poet and artist, John Ruskin’s essays on art and architecture were very significant in the Victorian and Edwardian era.

Born: February 8, 1819, London, United Kingdom
Died: January 20, 1900, Coniston, United Kingdom
Spouse: Effie Gray (m. 1848–1854)
Artwork: Oxalis and heather, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, More
Nominations: Locus Award for Best Art Book
Education: Christ Church, Oxford, King's College London, University of Oxford

Birth Details

John Ruskin was born on February 8, 1819 in London, England. He was brought up in a religious and highly cultured family.

Personal Biography

His magnificent contribution in the field of art, architecture and literature is still remembered. He was the son of a wine importer, John James Ruskin and owned a company that later came to be known as Allied Domecq. His mother’s name was Margaret who was a devout evangelical Protestant. He was the only child of his parents. He got his early education at home and later enrolled in to King’s College in London which is a very prestigious educational institute.

He completed his further studies from Christ Church, Oxford University and here he won the Newdigate Prize for his poetry. John Ruskin's initial published work came in 1834 when was just 15 years.

Ruskin got married on 10 April, 1848 to Euphemia Chalmers Gray.

Achievements

He began the first volume of “Modern Painters” in 1842 and in 1846; its second volume was published. In these books he discussed theories of beauty and imagination in figural as well as landscape painting context.

In 1849, Ruskin published “The Seven Lamps of Architecture” and “The King of the Golden River” in 1850. 1855 saw the beginning of “Academy Notes”.

3rd and 4th volume of “Modern Painters” and “The Harbors of England” were published in 1856. Following years he published “The Elements of Drawing”, “The Political Economy of Art”, “The Elements of Perspectives” and “The Two Paths”.

Ruskin was brought up in an environment of evangelical Protestantism. Now in the midst of his highly productive era, he decided to abandon this faith, its ideas and attitudes.

Ruskin continued his writing spree as well as lectures on issues such as social and political economy, art and myth. In 1863 he produced the Fraser’s Magazine “Essays on Political Economy”, “Sesame and Lilies” in 1865, “The Grown of Wild Olive” in 1866, “The Ethics of the Dust” in 1866, “Time and Tide” and “The Queen of the Air” in 1869 and many more.

In 1870, Ruskin was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford University. Here he associated himself with wealthy and often rowdy set of people but he continued with his writing and poetry.

In 1888, Ruskin suffered first attack of mental illness and during the Whistler trial in which an artist sued him for libel, he was unable to testify. Ruskin resigned from his job as Professor in Oxford University in 1880 and suffered similar mental attacks in the consecutive years. He started writing his autobiography but became seriously ill. He died in 1900 at Brentwood.

Award

Ruskin received Newdigate Prize for his poetry at Oxford University.

Quotes

“Out of suffering comes the serious mind; out of salvation, the grateful heart; out of endurance, fortitude; out of deliverance faith.”
- John Ruskin

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”
- John Ruskin

“He who can take no great interest in what is small will take false interest in what is great”
- John Ruskin

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.”
- John Ruskin

“There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey.”
- John Ruskin

“Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close.”
- John Ruskin

“Give a little to love a child, and you get a great deal back”
- John Ruskin

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.”
- John Ruskin

“A book worth reading is worth buying.”
- John Ruskin

“Endurance is nobler than strength and patience than beauty.”
- John Ruskin

“When we build, let us think that we build for ever”
- John Ruskin

“Our duty is to preserve what the past has had to say for itself, and to say for ourselves what shall be true for the future”
- John Ruskin

“The imagination is never governed, it is always the ruling and divine power”
- John Ruskin

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”
- John Ruskin

“The first condition of education is being able to put someone to wholesome and meaningful work.”
- John Ruskin

“In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.”
- John Ruskin

“Modern travelling is not travelling at all; it is merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.”
- John Ruskin

“He that has truth in his heart need never fear the want of persuasion on his tongue”
- John Ruskin

“Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them.”
- John Ruskin

“The path of a good woman is indeed strewn with flowers; but they rise behind her steps, not before them”
- John Ruskin

“It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us.”
- John Ruskin

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”
- John Ruskin

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”
- John Ruskin

“Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.”
- John Ruskin

“To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.”
- John Ruskin

“The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.”
- John Ruskin

“Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight”
- John Ruskin

“Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies for instance.”
- John Ruskin

“Architecture is the work of nations”
- John Ruskin


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