John Ruskin Quotes

Let us reform our schools, and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Unto This Last, essay 2 (1862).
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Architecture ... the adaptation of form to resist force.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Val d'Arno, ch. 6 (1874).
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The distinguishing sign of slavery is to have a price, and to be bought for it.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. "War," The Crown of Wild Olive (1866).
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Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British writer.
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Men don't and can't live by exchanging articles, but by producing them. They don't live by trade, but by work. Give up that foolish and vain title of Trades Unions; and take that of Labourers' Unions.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. open letter, Aug. 31, 1880, to the Trades Unions of England. published in Fors Clavigera, vol. 8 (Sept. 29, 1880).
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Take any noble musical air, and you find, on examining it, that not one even of the faintest or shortest notes can be removed without destruction to the whole passage in which it occurs; and that every note in the passage is twenty times more beautiful so introduced, than it would have been if played singly on the instrument. Precisely this degree of arrangement and relation must exist between every touch and line in a great picture. You may consider the whole as a prolonged musical composition: its parts, as separate airs connected in the story; its little bits and fragments of colour and line, as separate passages or bars in melodies; and down to the minutest note of the whole—down to the minutest touch,—if there is one that can be spared—that one is doing mischief.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British author, critic. "Conventional Art," The Two Paths (1859).
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Human work must be done honourably and thoroughly, because we are now Men;Mwhether we ever expect to be angels, or were ever slugs, being practically no matter.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Fors Claveriga, letter 76 (1877).
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There are no such things as Flowers—there are only gladdened Leaves.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Fors Claveriga, letter 5 (1871).
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The first duty of government is to see that people have food, fuel, and clothes. The second, that they have means of moral and intellectual education.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Fors Claveriga, letter 67 (1876).
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I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Letter, June 18, 1877. Fors Clavigera (1871-1884). Referring to Whistler's Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket, Oscar Wilde commented that the painting was "worth looking at for about as long as one looks at a real rocket, that is, for somewhat less than a quarter of a minute." Whistler took more seriously Ruskin's remarks which he made the subject of a law-suit. See Whistler on value.
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