John Ruskin was an English author, poet and artist, although more famous for his work as art critic and social critic. Ruskin's thinking on art and architecture became the thinking of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
In 1878 he wrote a review of a painting by James Whistler in which he accused the painter of "throwing a pot of paint in the face of the public" that led to a famous libel case. Ruskin lost, though the award of damages was only one farthing, and his reputation was tarnished which may have accelerated his mental decline. He suffered from a number of mental breakdowns as well as delirious visions.
His later works influenced many Trade Union leaders of the Victorian era. He was also the inspiration for the Arts and Crafts Movement, the founding of the National Trust, the National Art Collections Fund and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
He wrote over 250 works, which tended to connect art history to topics ranging from science, literary criticism, environmental conditions, and mythology. He is well known for his essay on economy Unto This Last, the essay The Nature of Gothic, and the early fantasy novel The King of the Golden River....
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