Biography and History

John Ruskin, English writer, artist, art critic, and collector, was born on February 8, 1819, in London, England. Educated at Oxford University, Ruskin met J. M. W. Turner in 1840. Ruskin wrote Tuner's entry in the 1843 Modern Painters, and later became his patron. After leaving Oxford, Ruskin began lecturing and writing about art and society, and quickly became an eminent critic. In the 1850s he supported the Pre-Raphaelites, who had been influenced by his writings on"truth to nature." Ruskin’s 1849 book, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, argued that art represented the moral state of society. In the 1870s, he established the Guild of St George, an idealistic social group. Later in life, Ruskin suffered multiple mental breakdowns, and was insane for the last ten years of his life.

Source: From the finding aid for C0196