John Ruskin (1819-1900) published five volumes of Modern Painters 1843-1860, The Seven Lamps of Architecture in 1849, in which he stated his philosophy of art, and The Stones of Venice 1851-1853, in which he drew moral lessons from architectural history.
His writings hastened the appreciation of painters considered unorthodox at the time, such as Tumer and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (see Dante ORossetti). His later writings were concerned with social and economic problems.
Born in London, only child of a prosperous wine-merchant, Ruskin was able to travel widely and was educated at Oxford. The first volume of Modern Painters appeared in 1843.
In 1848 he married Euphemia "Effie" Chalmers Gray, but the marriage proved a failure; six years later she s
ecured a decree of nullity and later married the painter Millais.
The fifth and final volume of Modern Painters appeared in 1860, and the remaining years of Ruskin's life were devoted to social and economic problems, in which he adopted an individual and radical outlook exalting the "craftsman".
He became increasingly isolated in his views. To this period belong a series of lectures and pamphlets (Unto this Last in 1860, Sesame and Lilies in 1865 on the duties of men and women, The Crown of Wild Olive in 1866).
Ruskin was Slade professor of art at Oxford 1869-1879, and he made a number of social experiments, such as St George's Guild, for the establishment of an industry on socialist lines. His last years were spent at Brantwood, Cumbria.
Why is John Ruskin famous?
John Ruskin was a British art critic and social critic.
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