When we talk about literature life of John Ruskin, we know that he was a natural painter, art critic, stylist of prose, architecture, and most importantly, a polemical writer of prose, John Ruskin was a change maker in social and cultural terms. He was born in London on 8th February, 1819.
Early Life of John Ruskin
Being an only child, Ruskin was given a special attention in education by his parents. Initially, he was home schooled with the knowledge of art from his father and of the Bible from his mother. He used to travel a lot with his parents due to whom he got to see buildings, landscapes, and paintings around the Europe and in Britain. He got the knowledge of all those books that were meant to be written for his rich audience. After his education at home, he was admitted into Peckham school. Later, he took admission in King’s College. He prepared to take admission in Oxford under the supervision of his English Literature professor, Dale. All of these factors played a crucial role in shaping up the literature life of John Ruskin.
His travelling was also the basis of his inspirations. His first ever poem called On Skiddaw and Derwent Water was printed in Spiritual Times in 1829. By the middle of 1830s, he was writing his pieces of verse and prose in the magazines. He also in 1843, Ruskin came up with his book named, Modern Painters that were in favour of the artwork by J. M. W. Turner, in which he debated that artist must stay honest with nature. Work of John Ruskin was concentrated on political and social matters. Unto this Last, published in 1860 was based on the subject of the economy by Ruskin.
Literary Life of John Ruskin
Ruskin has the honour under his name that he was the foremost Slade Professor of Fine Art the prestigious Oxford University. He also launched the Ruskin School of Drawing during his tenure as an art teacher.
One of his books titled, Fors Clavigera contain the letter that he wrote to the labourers and workmen of the Great Britian. With this personal dedication towards the working class, he laid out his opinions based on perfect society.
While Ruskin was in Italy with his parents, he studied Italian art under the guidance of George Richmond. John Ruskin has studied art very closely, especially when he was moving around in the continent with his parents. He got a chance to study Titans’ painting, and medieval art in Switzerland, Italy, and France. Ruskin had his interest developed in Gothic architecture as well. He wrote The Seven Lamps of Architecture in 1849. He came up with the essential moral categories that every architect must follow. These seven categories were: truth, power, sacrifice, life, beauty, obedience and memory. This essay gave basis to the feature of Protestant and secular type of Gothic.
In the early literature life of John Ruskin, there is a decorative and attractive style that is mainly because of him as an art-critic. His literary manifestation has the picturesque quality when he is writing for the art. When it comes to the socioeconomic subjects, he writes in a simple manner instead of using the beautification in his words. These essays on economic are to the point and clearly expressed so that his reader would understand the meaning within them. For instance: “You knock a man into a ditch and then you tell him to remain content in the position in which providence has placed him. That is modern Christianity.” (Work).
Literary writing style
He also has rhythmic style in his writing that he influenced by the Bible. In the literature life of John Ruskin, he created this rhythm with his word choice and imagery. The distinctive fact about Ruskin’s writing is that he used the sentences of up to 200 words, which is very unusual. The irony and sarcasm are also very much visible in Ruskin’s work.