By P. D. Anthony
John Ruskin used to be one of many nice Victorians demonstrated whereas nonetheless younger as an arbiter of flavor in portray and structure and as one of many maximum of all writers of English prose. whilst he used to be 40 he made up our minds to desert the sector during which his recognition were secured on the way to wake up the area to the peril of devastation which, he believed, might persist with its preoccupation with revenue and its subservience to a fake financial doctrine. He seemed his social feedback as an obligation, reluctantly authorized, to a society which had deserted the conventional and non secular values that have been the basis of its civilization. Ruskin's labour, to which he committed the remainder of his lifestyles, was once to convey a looking out intelligence, massive studying and an ethical trouble to offering a ruthless feedback of the values of Victorian England.
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Extra info for John Ruskin's Labour: A Study of Ruskin's Social Theory
It only remains for architecture to rediscover style for the wheel to have turned full circle. If Ruskin is accurately linked with this doctrine his reputation is seriously damaged . There are similarities and it will not be sufficient to point to the well-known antipathy with which Ruskin regarded 'one of the smallest of conceivable architects'. The unfairness of that judgment exemplifies Ruskin's attitude to Pugin as one of the least creditable things about him. Lord Clark said that only once again, in the whole thirty-nine large volumes of his work, does Ruskin mention Pugin, in equally uncomplimentary terms.
His work may be very necessary to the community; but the motive of it is understood to be wholly personal. The merchant's first object in all his dealings must be (the public believe) to get as much for himself and leave as little to his neighbour (or customer) as possible. ' 1 5 The explanation of the high status of the professions and the low opinion of business remains, incidentally, valid in terms of the attitude of contemporary students, which is such a source of worry to representatives of business and for which they wrongly blame Marxist influence in universities.
A strong and moral society is mirrored in good architecture, a corrupt society in a lifeless and mechanical architec48 Kenneth Clark, The gothic revival (London,John Murray, 1 9 74; first published 1928), p. 200 Watkin, Morality and architecture, p. 37 >° Clark, The gothic revival, p. 200 49 The laws of right ture. Ruskin identifies the good with the gothic and the corrupt with the renaissance. The arguments he uses to press this distinction beyond its limits are often prejudiced and doctrinaire.