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John Ruskin 1819 - 1900

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John Ruskin 1819 - 1900

John Ruskin was of Puritan Scottish origin. He was born in London and travelled extensively on the Continent. Ruskin began writing as an art critic: he defended the truth in art opposed to shallow idealism and stale classicism. Ruskin was the first to value the art and architecture of the cities of northern Italy. This interest, first expressed in The Seven Lamps of Architecture, became dominant with The Stones of Venice.

Ruskin formulated the idea that a given form of art is directly related to a given type of society, a whole way of living. His interests ranged from art criticism to social criticism and economics. Ruskin became a sworn enemy to modern mechanised production-line systems. His crusade against materialism against materialism and the lack of beauty and happiness in mechanical work was so thorough that it was considered revolutionary.


● "Labour and Civilisation" (from The Stones of Venice)


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