Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Ruskin (February 8, 1819 – January 20, 1900) was an English author, poet and artist, although more famous for his work as art critic and social critic . Ruskin's thinking on art and architecture became the thinking of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Ruskin was born in London, and was brought up in south London. He was educated at the University of Oxford (Christ Church), where he was awarded a prize for poetry, his earliest interest. It was there that he met Turner. His Modern Painters series was responsible for the early popularity of the artist Joseph Mallord William Turner and the pre-Raphaelite movement.
He also worked with the artists Rossetti, Millais, Holman Hunt, John Brett , Burne-Jones and John William Inchbold. Millais would in due course marry Effie Gray, who had been unhappily married to Ruskin from 1848 until their marriage was annulled. Ruskin later fell deeply and tragically in love with Rose la Touche .
Ruskin taught first at the Working Men's College in London . Ruskin was the first Slade Professor of Art at Oxford, from 1869 to 1879. There he became friendly with Lewis Carroll and was photographed by him. After the parting of Carroll and Alice Liddell, she and her sisters persued a similar relationship with John Ruskin, as detailed in Ruskin's Praeterita. Ruskin College, Oxford is named after him.
Upon the death of his father (who was a wealthy wine merchant), Ruskin declared that it was not possible to be a rich socialist and gave away most of his inheritance. He was friends with Sir Henry Acland. He founded the charity known as the Guild of St George in the 1870s and endowed it with large sums of money as well as a remarkable collection of art.
In 1878 he wrote a review of a painting by James Whistler in which he accused the painter of "throwing a pot of paint in the face of the public" that led to a famous libel case. Ruskin lost and his reputation was tarnished which may have accelerated his mental decline.
His later works influenced many Trade Union leaders of the Victorian era. He was also the inspiration for the Arts and Crafts Movement, the founding of the National Trust, the National Art Collections Fund and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
There are over 250 books he wrote in his collected works, on a huge variety of topics. He is well known for his essay on economy Unto This Last, the essay The Nature of Gothic, and the early fantasy novel The King of the Golden River .
A definitive two-volume biography by Tim Hilton appeared as John Ruskin: The Early Years (Yale University Press, 1985) and John Ruskin: The Later Years (Yale University Press, 2000).
- Modern Painters (1843)
- The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849)
- Pre-Raphaelitism (1851)
- The Stones of Venice (1853)
- Architecture and Painting (1854)
- Modern Painters III (1856)
- Political Economy of Art (1857)
- Modern Painters IV (1860)
- Unto This Last (1862)
- Essays on Political Economy (1862)
- Time and Tide (1867)
- John Ruskin
- Ruskin Museum (Coniston)
- Ruskin Gallery
- Ruskin's house
- an electronic edition of Modern Painters (browsable, but not e-text per se)
- Project Gutenberg e-texts of some of John Ruskin's works
- Complete text of Unto This Last
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