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petual though subdued acknowledgment of the Almighty, as the sum and substance, the beginning and the ending of all ttruth, of all power, of all goodness, and of all beauty."
Even the Edinburgh Review was compelled to acknowledge w Modern Painters" as "one of the most remarkable works on art which has appeared in our time."
Discarding the incognito, the "Graduate" next appears before the public in a work entitled "The Seven Lamps of Architecture, by John Ruskin, Author of Modern Painters." The fanciful title and the reputation already acquired by the author of Modern Painters, at once drew attention to this learned and philosophical treatise on Architecture. It was discovered that the works of Mr. Ruskin "must be read;" they must be discussed; they must be "weighed and considered." He had gained a standing-place, and possessed power enough to move, if not the world, at least a portion of its wisest and best.
Three other eloquent and beautiful volumes on Architecture, entitled, "The Stones of Venice," were issued from time to time, while the promised volumes to complete "Modern Painters" were still delayed. This delay was chiefly owing to the necessity under which the writer felt himself, of obtaining as many memoranda as possible of mediaeval buildings in Italy and Normandy, now in process of destruction, before that destruction should be consummated by the restorer or revolutionist. His "whole time," he says, "had been lately occupied in taking drawings from one side of buildings, of which masons were knocking down the other.'; These memoranda, obtained in every case from personal observation, had been collected at various times during seven teen years. Not satisfied, however, with these occasional visits to the sea-girt city, Mr. Ruskin went again to Venice, in 1849, to examine not only every one of the older palaces, stone by itone, but every fragment throughout the city, which afforded any clue to the formation of its styles."
He says: "My taking the pains so to examine what I had to describe, was a subject of grave surprise to my Italian friends."
"Three years' close and incessant labor to the examination of the chronology of the architecture of Venice; two long winters being wholly spent in the drawing of details on the spot; and yet I see constantly that architects who pass three or four days in a gondola, going up and down the grand canal, think that their first impressions are as likely to be true as my patiently wrought conclusions"
From these careful studies and measurements, drawings were made by Mr. Ruskin to illustrate "The Stones of Venice," and afterwards engraved in England by the best artists. Besides the fine illustrations which adorn those beautiful volumes, Mr. Ruskin prepared a separate work, consistins; entirely of engravings from drawings which could not bo reduced to the size of an octavo volume, without loss of accuracy in detail. These magnificent engravings were published in London, by subscription, in twelve parts, folio imperial size, at the price of one guinea each. They were fac-similes of Mr. Ruskin's drawings, and beautifully colored.* The "Seven Lamps of Architecture" and "The Stones of Venice"
♦ All Mr. Ruskin's works, with the exception of two volumes of "Tho Stones of Venice," and these large illustrations, have been published ir this country by Wiley & Halsted, Broadway, New York.
would alone have placed Mr. Ruskin among the very first writers on Art that England has ever nurtured.
The subtle critic of Art then turned aside, by way of episode, and wrote a feuilleton " On the Construction of Sheep folds." Graceful, picturesque, rustic sheepfolds? By no means. The versatile "Graduate of Oxford" must give his views on a subject which at that time was agitating the minds and employing the pens of some of the ablest thinkers ir Great Britain, namely, "The Church;" its character, author ity, teaching, government, and discipline. It was a "Tract for the Times," but in direct opposition to the Tracts of his venerable alma mater.
To this bold pamphlet was prefixed the following characteristic "advertisement:"—
"Many persons will probably find fault with me for publishing opinions which are not new: but I shall bear this blame contentedly, believing that opinions on this subject could hardly be just if the^ were not 1800 years old. Others will blame me for making" proposals which are altogether new; to whom I would answer, that things in these days seem not so far right but that they may be mended. And others will simply call the opinions felse and the proposals foolish— to whose good will, if they take it in hand to contradict me, I must leave what I have written,—having no purpose of being drawn, at present, into religious controversy. If, however, any should admit the truth, but regret the tone of what I have said, I can only pray them to consider how much less harm is done in the world by ungraceful boldness, than by untimely fear."
Whatever were the "opinions" thus promulgated, there can be no doubt that the author's motive was a sincere, earnest desire to do good.
Another pamphlet from the same prolific pen, entitled "Pre-Raphaelitism," caused great excitement among the artists, as well as the critics.
tAt the close of the first volume of Modern Painters, Mr. v Ruskin gave the following advice to the young artists of England:—"They should go to nature in all singleness of heart, and walk with her laboriously and trustingly, having no other thought but how best to penetrate her meaning; rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, and scorning nothing.' This he quotes in the Preface to his Pre-Raphaelitism, and says,—
"Advice which, whether bad or good, involved infinite labor and humiliation in the following it; and was therefore, for the most part, rejected. It has, however, been carried out, to the very letter, by a group of men who, for their reward, have been assailed with the most scurrilous abuse which I ever recollect seeing issue from the public press. I have, therefore, thought it due to them (the Pre-Raphaelites) to contradict the directly false statements whjph have been made respecting their works; and to point out the kind of merit which, however deficient in some respects, those works possess beyond the possibility of dispute."
Mr. Ruskin here says no more than Schiller had said before him:—
"With genius, Nature is bound in eternal alliance,—
Phen why was the hue and cry raised against his "Pre-
This would-be astute critic, however, like many who had gone before him, cried "mad dog" in vain. Mr. Ruskin still lives.
The third volume of Modern Painters was issued ten years after the publication of the two first volumes. Those two volumes, as has already been mentioned, were written to check the attacks upon Turner. Little did the "Graduate" then foresee what a range his spirit would take, after its first venturous flight!
"The check was partially given, but too late; Turner was seized by painful illness soon after the second volume appeared; his works towards the close of the year 1845, showed a conclusive failure of power; and I saw that nothing remained for me to write, but his epitaph."
No one can fail to admire the generous, enthusiastic devotion of Mr. Ruskin to his favorite artist; but, as few of Turner's paintings have reached this country, his eloquent descriptions of them, and subtle criticisms, would not be generally interesting, and have therefore been omitted in the "Selections" from his Works.
Engravings, however, from many of Turner's pictures are well known among us, and highly prized by genuine lovers of the Beautiful. Among these engravings the Illustrations to Rogers's Italy have been universally admired.
In November, 1853, Mr. Ruskin delivered four Lectures in Edinburgh, on Architecture and Painting; which have since been published in a beautifully illustrated volume.
He thought himself happy, he says, in his first Lecture, to address the citizens of Edinburgh on the subject of Architeo