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JOHN RUSKIN
English writer, art critic and social reformer
(1819 - 1900)
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The morning wind the mead hath kissed;
  It leads in narrow lines
    The shadows of the silver mist,
      To pause among the pines.
      - [Wind]

The names of great painters are like passing-bells: in the name of Velasquez you hear sounded the fall of Spain; .in the name of Titian, that of Venice; in the name of Leonardo, that of Milan; in the name of Raphael, that of Rome. And there is profound justice in this, for in proportion to the nobleness of the power is the guilt of its use for purposes vain or vile; and hitherto the greater the art, the more surely has it been used, and used solely, for the decoration of pride or the provoking of sensuality.
      - [Art]

The noble grotesque involves the true appreciation of beauty.
      - [Beauty]

The plea of ignorance will never take away our responsibilities.
      - [Responsibility]

The power of association is stronger than the power of beauty; therefore, the power of association is the power of beauty.
      - [Power]

The power of painter or poet to describe what he calls an ideal thing depends upon its being to him not an ideal but a real thing. No man ever did or ever will work well but either from actual sight or sight of faith.
      - [Art]

The proof of a thing's being right is that it has power over the heart; that it excites us, wins us, or helps us.
      - [Right]

The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.
      - [Colors]

The repose necessary to all beauty is repose, not of inanition, nor of luxury, nor of irresolution, but the repose of magnificent energy and being; in action, the calmness of trust and determination; in rest, the consciousness of duty accomplished and of victory won; and this repose and this felicity can take place as well in the midst of trial and tempest, as beside the waters of comfort.
      - [Repose]

The sculptor does not work for the anatomist, but for the common observer of life and nature.
      - [Sculpture]

The sculptor must paint with his chisel; half his touches are not to realize, but to put power into, the form. They are touches of light and shadow, and raise a ridge, or sink a hollow, not to represent an actual ridge or hollow, but to get a line of light, or a spot of darkness.
      - [Sculpture]

The secret of language is the secret of sympathy, and its full charm is possible only to the gentle.
      - [Sympathy]

The tremendous unity of the pine absorbs and moulds the life of a race. The pine shadows rest upon a nation. The northern peoples, century after century, lived under one or other of the two great powers of the pine and the sea, both infinite. They dwelt amidst the forests as they wandered on the waves, and saw no end nor any other horizon. Still the dark, green trees, or the dark, green waters jagged the dawn with their fringe or their foam. And whatever elements of imagination, or of warrior strength, or of domestic justice were brought down by the Norwegian or the Goth against the dissoluteness or degradation of the south of Europe were taught them under the green roofs and wild penetralia of the pine.
      - [Trees]

The true grotesque being the expression of the repose or play of a serious mind, there is a false grotesque opposed to it, which is the result of the full exertion of a frivolous one.
      - [Grotesque]

The truths of nature are one eternal change, one infinite variety. There is no bush on the face of the globe exactly like another bush; there are no two trees in the forest whose boughs bend into the same network, nor two leaves on the same tree which could not be told one from the other, nor two waves in the sea exactly alike.
      - [Nature]

The whole difference between a man of genius and other men, it has been said a thousand times, and most truly, is that the first remains in great part a child, seeing with the large eyes of children, in perpetual wonder, not conscious of much knowledge--conscious, rather of infinite ignorance, and yet infinite power; a fountain of eternal admiration, delight, and creative force within him meeting the ocean of visible and governable things around him.
      - [Genius]

The work of science is to substitute facts for appearances, and demonstrations for impressions.
      - [Science]

There are many religions, but there is only one morality.
      - [Morality]

There are no laws by which we can write Iliads.
      - [Genius]

There is a certain period of the soul-culture when it begins to interfere with some of characters of typical beauty belonging to the bodily frame, the stirring of the intellect wearing down the flesh, and the moral enthusiasm burning its way out to heaven, through the emaciation of the earthen vessel; and there is, in this indication of subduing the mortal by the immortal part, an ideal glory of perhaps a purer and higher range than that of the more perfect material form. We conceive, I think, more nobly of the weak presence of Paul than of, the fair and ruddy countenance of David.
      - [Beauty]

There is in every animal's eye a dim and gleam of humanity; a flash strange light through which their life looks out and up to, our great mystery of command over them, and the claims the fellowship of the creature if not of the soul.
      - [Animals]

There is 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.
      - [Thoroughness]

There is no action so slight or so mean but it may be done to a great purpose, and ennobled thereby.
      - [Action]

There is no process of amalgamation by which opinions, wrong individually, can become right merely by their multitude.
      - [Opinion]

There is no solemnity so deep, to a right-thinking creature, as that of dawn.
      - [Dawn]


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