"Ruskin on Architecture and Painting." Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 75.464 (Jun. 1854): 755-756. Excerpt.

But did it never strike Mr Ruskin that the ruling passion of vanity-of which he ought to know something-is not of modern growth; and that the same objection, if we could see the originals, would probably apply to every portrait which was ever painted? No man likes to be handed down to posterity as a very ill-looking fellow. Even Cromwell, though he piqued himself on his stern adherence to reality, and professed his detestation of flatterers, flew into a violent passion, when the painter depicted the wart upon his nose; and we rather respect the feeling. Photography, by whatever process it may be improved, will never supersede the manual labour of the artist. It is the privilege of art to idealise-Does Mr Ruskin mean to say that there is no beauty in the ideal?

We presume so; for Mr Ruskin identifies himself entirely with the Pre-Raphaelites. He talks of battles, sad mighty victories to be achieved, which is simply nonsense. We venture to predict that in two or three years we shall hear no more of Pre-Raphaelitism. Millais, the Achilles of the school, is, we are glad to know, abandoning its absurdities; and, being undoubtedly a man of genius, will probably become a great name among our British painters. When that day arrives, he will look back with a feeling of astonishment at his Ferdinands and Ophelias. Mr Hunt we take to be incorrigible, and we consign him to the company of Mr Ruskin.


This document was scanned/transcribed from the original source.

Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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