The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters


John Ruskin

1819 -1900

                                                    Art Critic and Painters

Cause of Death -  Old Age


                              John Ruskin on Artists

"There is probably no necessity more imperatively felt by the artist, no
test more unfailing of the greatness of artistical treatment, than that
of the appearance of repose, and yet there is no quality whose semblance
in mere matter is more difficult to define or illustrate. Nevertheless,
I believe that our instinctive love of it, as well as the cause to which
I attribute that love, (although here also, as in the former cases, I
contend not for the interpretation, but for the fact,) will be readily
allowed by the reader. As opposed to passion, changefulness, or
laborious exertion, repose is the especial and separating characteristic
of the eternal mind and power; it is the "I am" of the Creator opposed
to the "I become" of all creatures; it is the sign alike of the supreme
knowledge which is incapable of surprise, the supreme power which is
incapable of labor, the supreme volition which is incapable of change;
it is the stillness of the beams of the eternal chambers laid upon the
variable waters of ministering creatures; and as we saw before that the
infinity which was a type of the Divine nature on the one hand, became
yet more desirable on the other from its peculiar address to our prison
hopes, and to the expectations of an unsatisfied and unaccomplished
existence, so the types of this third attribute of the Deity might seem
to have been rendered farther attractive to mortal instinct, through the
infliction upon the fallen creature of a curse necessitating a labor
once unnatural and still most painful, so that the desire of rest
planted in the heart is no sensual nor unworthy one, but a longing for
renovation and for escape from a state whose every phase is mere
preparation for another equally transitory, to one in which permanence
shall have become possible through perfection. Hence the great call of
Christ to men, that call on which St. Augustine fixed essential
expression of Christian hope, is accompanied by the promise of rest;
and the death bequest of Christ to men is peace." from Modern Painters Volume II.

                        John Ruskin Quotes

To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.

I believe that the first test of a great man is his humility. I don't mean by humility, doubt of his power. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.


Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Renaissance Movement rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world,  publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists,  sfumato, chiaroscuro, spiritually significant,  illuminated manuscript,  idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, illuminator,  Age of Discovery, curiosity about the natural world,  realistic use of colours and  light, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, The Blackdeath, Gospel parables, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism.

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Major Painters of the Italian High Renaissance

Andrea del Sarto
Mariotto Albertinelli
Fra Bartolommeo
Jacopo Bassano
Giovanni Bellini 
Domenico Brusasorci
Giulio Campi
Domenico Di Michelino
Lorenzo Costa
Dosso Dossi
Francesco Francia
Ridolfo Ghirlandaio
Leonardo da Vinci
Lorenzo Lotto
Bernardino Luini
Michelangelo Buonarroti
Baldassare Peruzzi
Piero di Cosimo
Jacob Tintoretto
Marcantonio Raimondi