Ruskin, John

WRITER, ART CRITIC, GRAPHICAL ARTIST (ENGLAND)
BORN 8 Feb 1819, London - DIED 20 Jan 1900, Brandwood, Lancashire
GRAVE LOCATION Coniston, Cumbria: St. Andrew's Churchyard

Writer of extensive works on art in which he emphasized the importance of nature for spiritual health. He was among the first to recognize the qualities of Turner and defended the pre-raphaelites against the vigorous attacks by the critics. He had a huge personal fortune that he used for filantropic projects. His marriage to Effie Gray was annulled on the groud of non-consummation and she married his friend John Millais, whose work he had always praised highly. From 1858 on he loved Rose La Touche, until even after her death in 1875.

Ruskin blasted the paintings of Whistler and wrote about "Nocturne in Black and Gold: the Falling Rocket" that Whistler was 'flinging a pot of paint in the public face' and that asking 200 guineas for it was nearly wilful imposture. Whistler sued him for this and a trial surrounded by much publicity followed. Ruskin wasn't present, and Whistler won after a brilliant defense. But since he was awarded only one farthing in damages and had to pay the costs of the trial, he eventually went bankrupt.

Work: "Modern painters" (five volumes, 1860).

Related persons
• has a connection with Burne-Jones, Edward Coley
• knew Dyce, William
• was pupil to Harding, James Duffield
• was patron of Hunt, Alfred William
• knew Hunt, Violet
• was painted by Millais, John Everett
• wrote about Mulready, William
• was teacher to Noel, Anne Isabella, 15th Baroness Wentworth
• was admired by Proust, Marcel
• has a connection with Roberts, David
• employed Rooke, Thomas
• knew Smetham, James
• supported Turner, Joseph Mallord William
• has a connection with Whistler, James MacNeill

Sources
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
• Greenwood, Peter, Who's buried where in England, Constable, London, 1982
• Barilli, Renato, Die Präraffaeliten, Manfred Pawlak, Herrsching, 1988
• Whelchel, Harriet (ed.), John Ruskin and the Victorian Eye, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1993


Ruttkai, Éva

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 7 Apr 2000