Essay on Gothic Architecture: Ruskin's Influence on Britain

2644 Words Nov 3rd, 2010 11 Pages
John Ruskin was not an architect by trade. However, he had a strong impact on architecture in Britain in more ways than any other architect of his time. Ruskin was an English art critic and social thinker, but he maintained a deep passion for architecture. Ruskin published many works on architecture, naturalism in art, and moral issues–his essays on art and architecture were especially influential in the Victorian period. Ruskin was born on February 8th, 1819 in London, England. He became very well known at a young age for his support of the works of J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). J.M.W. Turner was an English Romantic landscaper painter whose style of work was considered controversial: he believed in embracing the authentic forms of nature, …show more content…
Because he was respected as an artist may artists and architects began to read and apply his methods to their works. Because his works were respected, his words influenced the architecture of the time. Specifically, this book specifically focused upon the differences between the ‘Old Masters’, which are the widely accepted painters that preceded the 1800s, and the emerging painters of Ruskin’s age. The surfacing painters of Ruskin’s age followed the picturesque tradition. He believed they were far superior to the ‘Old Masters’ for many reasons including that the new painters did not follow the strict rules for painting nature. This book explicitly held up Turner as a prime example of the perfect naturalism painter of the era. Ruskin chose Turner specifically because he epitomized the way in which one would depict nature in an accurate way. The book strengthened Ruskin’s outward influence upon the art and architectural community because his opinions of naturalism and the authenticity of depicting nature were so profound. His later volumes of Modern Painters consisted of naturalistic ideals followed by the importance of symbolism in art expressed through natural vessels. The volumes that followed influenced the development of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Pre-Raphaelite movement, which Ruskin would later support. This led to another way that Ruskin became such an influence in British architecture; he

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