Victorian philosopher and writer John Ruskin (1819-1900) was born on this day in London, England, the only child of an affluent merchant. With a passion for poetry while at Oxford University, Ruskin became a prolific and well-respected art and architecture critic.
"Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth," he once said.
His five-volumed Modern Painters (1843-1860) helped promote the pre-Raphaelite movement which celebrated beauty, revitalized Christian art, and rejected the materialism of the Industrial Revolution.
He said, "Life is a magic vase filled to the brim; so made that you cannot dip into it nor draw from it; but it overflows into the hand that drops treasures into it drop in malice and it overflows hate; drop in charity and it overflows love."
With The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849), one of the eras most influential works, Ruskin identified seven leading principles of the perfect, timeless work of art: Sacrifice, Truth, Power, Beauty, Life, Memory, and Obedience.
An inspiration to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, Ruskin's insights continue to ring true today. "Let every dawn of morning be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close," he said.
More John RUSKIN Quotations
It's all good.