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Quotations From JOHN RUSKIN


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  • The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. The Stones of Venice, vol. 2, ch. 5, sct. 30 (1852).

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  • Therefore, when we build, let us think that we build for ever.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. The Seven Lamps of Architecture, ch. 6 (1849).
  • All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. The Stones of Venice, vol. II, ch. 6 (1853).

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  • There is never vulgarity in a whole truth, however commonplace. It may be unimportant or painful. It cannot be vulgar. Vulgarity is only in concealment of truth, or in affectation.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Modern Painters III, pt. 4, ch. 7 (1856).

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  • We may live without her, and worship without her, but we cannot remember without her. How cold is all history, how lifeless all imagery, compared to that which the living nation writes, and the uncorrupted marble bears!
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. "The Lamp of Memory," sect. 2, The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849). Referring to architecture.

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  • Of all the things that oppress me, this sense of the evil working of nature herself—my disgust at her barbarity—clumsiness—darkness—bitter mockery of herself—is the most desolating.
    John Ruskin (1819-F1900), British art critic, author. Letter, April 3, 1871. quoted in Ruskin Today, sct. 115, ed. Kenneth Clark (1964).

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  • That which is required in order to the attainment of accurate conclusions respecting the essence of the Beautiful is nothing more than earnest, loving, and unselfish attention to our impressions of it.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Modern Painters II, pt. 3, sec. 1, ch. 3 (1846).

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  • All great art is the work of the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly of the soul.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. The Stones of Venice, vol. I, ch. 4 (1851).

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  • Better the rudest work that tells a story or records a fact, than the richest without meaning.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. The Seven Lamps of Architecture, ch. 6 (1849).

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  • To know anything well involves a profound sensation of ignorance.
    John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Modern Painters I, pt. 1, ch. 3 (1843).
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