Author

John
Ruskin
1819
1901

English Critic, Essayist, Social Reformer

Author Quotes

Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.

Education is the leading human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them; and these two objects are always attainable together, and by the same means. The training which makes men happiest in themselves also makes them most serviceable to others.

Art is greatest, which conveys to the mind of the spectator, by any means whatsoever, the greatest number of the greatest ideas, and I call an idea great in proportion as it is received by a higher faculty of the mind, and as it more fully occupies, and in occupying, exercises and exalts, the faculty by which it is received.

As unity demanded for its expression what at first might have seemed its opposite - variety; so repose demands for its expression the implied capability of its opposite - energy. It is not the most unfailing test of beauty; nothing can be ignoble that possesses it, nothing right that has it not.

All violent feelings produce in us a falseness in all our impressions of external things, which I would generally characterize as the "Pathetic Fallacy."

Anything which elevates the mind is sublime. Greatness of matter, space, power, virtue or beauty, are all sublime.

All that is good in art is the expression of one soul talking to another, and is precious according to the greatness of the soul that utters it.

All the best things and treasure of this world are not to be produced by each generation for itself; but we are all intended, not to carve our work in snow that will melt, but each and all of us to be continually rolling a great white gathering snow-ball, higher and higher, larger and larger, along the Alps of human power.

All real joy and power of progress... depend on finding something to reverence, and all the baseness and misery of humanity begin in a habit of disdain.

All men who have sense and feeling are being continually helped; they are taught by every person they meet and enriched by everything that falls in their way. The greatest is he who has been oftenest aided. Originality is the observing eye.

All other passions do occasional good; but when pride puts in its word everything goes wrong.

(The sky) Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious, sometimes awful, never the same for two minutes together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost divine in its infinity.

A man is known to his dog by the smell, to his tailor by the coat, to his friend by the smile; each of these know him, but how little or how much depends on the dignity of the intelligence. That which is truly and indeed characteristic of the man is known only to God.

You will find it less easy to uproot faults, than to choke them by gaining virtues.

You will find that the mere resolve not to be useless, and the honest desire to help other people, will, in the quickest and delicatest ways, improve yourself.

Whatever may be the means or whatever the more immediate end of any kind of art, all of it that is good agrees in this, that it is the expression of one soul talking to another, and is precious according to the greatness of the soul that utters it.

Without seeking, truth cannot be known to all. It can neither be declared from pulpits, nor set down in articles, nor in any wise prepared and sold in packages ready for use. Truth must be ground for every man by himself out of its husk, with such help as he can get, indeed, but not without stern labor of his own.

To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.

What is in reality cowardice and faithlessness, we call charity, and consider it the part of benevolence sometimes to forgive men’s evil practice for the sake of their accurate faith, and sometimes to forgive their confessed heresy for the sake of their admirable practice.

There is nothing so small but that we may honor God by asking His guidance of it, or insult Him by taking it into our own hands; and what is true of the Deity is equally true of His revelation.

There is nothing that this age, from whatever standpoint we survey it, needs more, physically, intellectually, and morally, than thorough ventilation.

There is no action so slight, nor so mean, but it may be done to a great purpose, and ennobled therefore; nor is any purpose so great but that slight actions may help it, and may be so done as to help it much, most especially that chief of all purposes, the pleasing of God.

There is a large difference between indolent impatience of labor and intellectual impatience of delay, large difference between leaving things unfinished because we have more to do or because we are satisfied with what we have done.

The moment a man can really do his work, he becomes speechless about it; all words are idle to him; all theories. Does a bird need to theorize about building its nest, or boast of it when built? All good work is essentially done that way; without hesitation; without difficulty; without boasting.

There are three material things, not only useful, but essential to life. No one “knows how to live” till he has got them. These are pure air, water and earth. There are three immaterial things, not only useful, but essential to life. No one knows how to live till he has got them also. These are admiration, hope and love. Admiration - the power of discerning and taking delight in what is beautiful in visible form and lovely in human character; and, necessarily, striving to produce what is beautiful in form and to become what is lovely in character. Hope - the recognition, by true foresight, of better things to be reached hereafter, whether by ourselves or others; necessarily issuing in the straightforward and undisappointable effort to advance, according to our proper power, the gaining of them. Love - both of family and neighbor, faithful and satisfied.

First Name
John
Last Name
Ruskin
Birth Date
1819
Death Date
1901
Bio

English Critic, Essayist, Social Reformer