Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

John Ruskin (1819-1900), Writer, artist and social reformer

Art critic, lecturer, social commentator and philanthropist; born 8 February 1819, in London. Educated at Oxford University; author of Modern Painters, volume I (1843) promoting Turner and volume II (1846) on the imagination in art, Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849), The Stones of Venice (1853) on Gothic architecture, Modern Painters, volumes III and IV (1856) and volume V (1860); defended the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood 1851, and became close to John Everett Millais (who subsequently married Ruskin’s former wife), then to Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones; founder member of the Working Men’s College; from the late 1850s became a social critic whose writings influenced the emerging labour movement, Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi and others and who used his personal wealth in philanthropy and education; Slade Professor of Fine Art, Oxford University 1869–78 and again 1883–5; sued for libel by James McNeill Whistler 1878; from 1885 was progressively silenced by delusions and dementia but, although living in seclusion at Brantwood near Coniston in Cumbria, was increasingly revered; died 20 January 1900.

In 1853 his voice was described as peculiar in having a lisped ‘r’ and an undulating intonation like that of contemporary churchmen. [1] To William Holman Hunt, in 1869, Ruskin appeared tall ‘but of great spareness of limb … the colour of his hair was rusty, his eyes were bluish-grey, his complexion pink in hue, and his skin transparent, showing violet veins about the eyes.’ [2]

According to Charles Eliot Norton:

you would be struck at once with the sweetness and refinement of his look, with a certain touch of quaintness in his dress … with the peculiar and sorrowful tenderness of expression in his eyes, with the mobility of his mouth, and with the fine, nervous, overstrung organisation.… At first, for five minutes perhaps, he would show in your presence as a stranger, a little shyness and constraint … But this would wear off quickly and in a quarter of an hour you and he would be on easy terms, and talking as if you had known each other for years. [3]

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) The Edinburgh Guardian, quoted in Cook & Wedderburn 1903–12, vol.12, p.xxxii.
2) Hunt 1905, vol.2, p.259.
3) Norton 1913, vol.1, p.357.

Referencesback to top

Attwell 1900
Attwell, H., comp., Thoughts from Ruskin, London, 1900.

Barnes 1985
Barnes, J., Ruskin in Sheffield, Sheffield, 1985.

Beerbohm 1904; 1943
Beerbohm, M., The Poets’ Corner, London, 1904; enlarged ed., 1943.

Beerbohm 1922; 1987
Beerbohm, M., Rossetti and His Circle, London, 1922; repr. with additions, New Haven and London, 1987.

Bills & Webb 2007
Bills, M., and D. Webb, eds, Victorian Artists in Photographs: [The World of G.F. Watts]. Selections from the Rob Dickins Collection, exh. cat., Watts Gallery, Compton, 2007.

Birkenhead 1965
Birkenhead, S., Illustrious Friends: The Story of Joseph Severn and His Son Arthur, London, 1965.

Bradley & Ousby 1987
Bradley, J.L., and I. Ousby, The Correspondence of John Ruskin and Charles Eliot Norton, Cambridge, 1987.

Casteras et al. 1993
Casteras, S.P., and others, John Ruskin and the Victorian Eye, exh. cat., Phoenix Art Museum and Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1993.

Clark 1964
Clark, K., Ruskin Today, London, 1964.

Collingwood 1922
Collingwood, R.G., Ruskin’s Philosophy: an Address delivered … August 8th 1919, Kendal, 1922.

Collingwood 1898
Collingwood, S.D., The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, London, 1898.

Collingwood 1889
Collingwood, W.G., John Ruskin: A Biographical Outline, London, 1889.

Collingwood 1893
Collingwood, W.G., The Life and Work of John Ruskin, 2 vols, London, 1893.

Cook 1890
Cook, E.T., Studies in Ruskin: Some Aspects of the Work and Teaching of John Ruskin, Orpington, 1890.

Cook & Wedderburn 1903–12
Cook, E.T., and A. Wedderburn, eds, The Works of John Ruskin, 39 vols, London, 1903–12.

Cruise 2011
Cruise, C., Pre-Raphaelite Drawing, London, 2011 (to accompany exh. The Poetry of Drawing: Pre-Raphaelite Designs, Studies and Watercolours, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011).

Davies 1904
Davies, J.L., ed., The Working Men’s College 1854–1904, London, 1904.

Dearden 1960
Dearden, J.S., ‘Some Portraits of John Ruskin’, Apollo, December 1960, pp.190–95.

Dearden 1961
Dearden, J.S., ‘Further Portraits of John Ruskin’, Apollo, June 1961, pp.171–8.

Dearden 1970
Dearden, J.S., Facets of Ruskin, London, 1970.

Dearden 1972
Dearden, J.S., ‘The Ruskin Circle in Italy in 1872’, The Connoisseur, April 1972, pp.240–45.

Dearden 1981
Dearden, J.S., John Ruskin: An Illustrated Life 1819–1900, Coniston, 1981.

Dearden 1988–91
Dearden, J.S., John Ruskin und die Schweiz, exh. cat., Historisches Museum, Basle, Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen and Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, 1988–9; French ed., John Ruskin et les Alpes, exh. cat., Musées Cantonaux, Sion and Musée Favre, Aix-les-Bains, 1989–90; Italian ed., John Ruskin e le Alpi, exh. cat., Museo Nazionale della Montagna, Turin, 1990; English ed., John Ruskin and the Alps, exh. cat., Fine Art Society, London, 1991.

Dearden 1994
Dearden, J.S., Ruskin, Bembridge and Brantwood: The Growth of the Whitehouse Collection, Ryburn, 1994.

Dearden 1999
Dearden, J.S., John Ruskin: A Life in Pictures, Sheffield, 1999.

Denker 1995
Denker, E., In Pursuit of the Butterfly: Portraits of James McNeill Whistler, exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, 1995.

Dunn 1984
Henry Treffry Dunn: Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and His Circle, ed. R. Mander (enlarged ed. of work first published 1904, ed. G. Pedrick).

Elzea 2001
Elzea, B., Frederick Sandys: A Catalogue Raisonné, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2001.

Evans 1954
Evans, J., John Ruskin, London, 1954.

Fredeman 2002–10
Fredeman, W.E., ed., The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 9 vols, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2002–10.

Furniss 1924
Furniss, H., Some Victorian Men, London, 1924.

Gallatin 1913a
Gallatin, A.E., The Portraits and Caricatures of James McNeill Whistler: An Iconography, with twenty examples, ten hitherto unpublished, London and New York, 1913.

Gallatin 1918
Gallatin, A.E., Portraits of Whistler: A Critical Study and an Iconography, London and New York, 1918.

Grieve 1996
Grieve, A,. ‘Ruskin and Millais at Glenfinlas’, Burlington Magazine, April 1996, pp.228–34.

Hall 1997
Hall, N.J., Max Beerbohm Caricatures, New Haven and London, 1997.

Harris & Ormond 1976
Harris, E., and R. Ormond, Vanity Fair: An Exhibition of Original Cartoons, NPG, London, 1976.

Hart-Davis 1972
Hart-Davis, R., A Catalogue of the Caricatures of Max Beerbohm, London, 1972.

Herkomer 1910–11
Herkomer, H. von, The Herkomers, 2 vols, London, 1910–11.

Hewison 1996
Hewison, R., Ruskin and Oxford: The Art of Education, Oxford, 1996.

Hewison, Warrell & Wildman 2000
Hewison, R., I. Warrell and S. Wildman, Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, exh. cat., Tate Britain, London, 2000.

Hill 2012
Hill, D., ‘”’Perfection, I should call it’: John Ruskin’s personalised guide to Switzerland, 1843”, British Art Journal, vol.13, no.1, 2012, pp.54-67.

Hudson 2012
Hudson, G., Sarah Angelina Acland: First Lady of Colour Photography 1849-1930, Oxford 2012.

Hughes & Edmonds 1876
English Celebrities of the Nineteenth Century, Part 1, Hughes & Edmonds, London, 1876.

Hunt 1982
Hunt, J.D., The Wider Sea: A Life of John Ruskin, London, 1982.

Hunt 1905; 1913
Hunt, W.H., Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 2 vols, London, 1905; 2nd ed., 1913.

Irving 1951
Irving, L., Henry Irving: The Actor and his World, London, 1951.

Leon 1949
Leon, D., Ruskin: The Great Victorian, London, 1949.

Levi & Tucker 1997
Levi, D., and P. Tucker, Ruskin didatta: il disegno tra disciplina e diletto, Venice, 1997.

Lochnan et al. 1993
Lochnan, K., and others, The Earthly Paradise: Arts and Crafts by William Morris and His Circle from Canadian Collections, exh. cat., Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1993.

Lutyens 1967
Lutyens, M., ed., Millais and the Ruskins, London, 1967.

Lutyens 1972
Lutyens, M., The Ruskins and the Grays, London, 1972.

Maas 1984
Maas, J., The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984.

MacCarthy 2011
MacCarthy, F., The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination, London, 2011.

McMaster 2008
McMaster, J., ‘That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy’, British Art Journal, Autumn 2008, pp.62–76.

McMaster 2009
McMaster, J., That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy, Edmonton, Canada, 2009.

Merrill 1992
Merrill, L., A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in Whistler v. Ruskin, Washington, DC, and London, 1992.

Meynell 1940
Meynell, V., ed., Friends of a Lifetime: Letters to Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, London, 1940.

Millais 1899
Millais, J.G., The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais, 2 vols, London, 1899.

Mills 1923
Mills, J.S., Life and Letters of Sir Hubert Herkomer CVO, RA: A Study in Struggle and Success, London, 1923.

Noakes 1978
Noakes, A., William Frith: Extraordinary Victorian Painter, London, 1978.

Norton 1913
Norton, S., and M.A. DeWolfe, eds, The Letters of Charles Eliot Norton, 2 vols, London and Cambridge, MA, 1913.

O’Donoghue 1908–22
O’Donoghue, F., Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 5 vols, London, 1908–22 (and vol.6, H.M. Hake, Supplement and indexes, 1925).

Ormond 2010
Ormond, L., Linley Sambourne: Illustrator and Punch Cartoonist, London, 2010.

Panayotova 2008
Panayotova, S., I Turned It Into a Palace: Sydney Cockerell and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 2008.

Pedrick 1964
Pedrick, G., Life with Rossetti: or, No Peacocks Allowed, London, 1964.

Pennell & Pennell 1921
Pennell, J., and E.R. Pennell, The Whistler Journal, Philadelphia, 1921.

Penny 1992
Penny, N., Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols, Oxford, 1992.

Poole 1912–25
Poole, R.L., Catalogue of Oxford Portraits in the Possession of the University, Colleges, City and County of Oxford, 3 vols, Oxford, 1912–25.

Quennell 1949
Quennell, P., John Ruskin: The Portrait of a Prophet, London, 1949.

Richards 2005
Richards, J., Sir Henry Irving: A Victorian Actor and his World, Hambledon and London, 2005.

Ruskin 1861
Ruskin, J., Selections from the Writings of John Ruskin. With a portrait, London, 1861.

Ruskin 1989
Ruskin and the English Watercolour, exh. cat., Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 1989.

Severn 1967
Severn, A., The Professor: Arthur Severn’s Memoir of John Ruskin, ed. J.S. Dearden, London, 1967.

Spielmann 1891b
Spielmann, M.H., ‘The Portraits of John Ruskin, i and ii’, Magazine of Art, 1891, pp.73–9, 121–6.

Spielmann 1900a
Spielmann, M.H., John Ruskin: A Sketch of His Life, His Work, and His Opinions, London, 1900.

Stetz 2007
Stetz, M.D., Facing the Late Victorians: Portraits of Writers and Artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, Newark, DE, 2007.

Surtees 1972
Surtees, V., Sublime and Instructive: Letters from John Ruskin…, London, 1972.

Swanson 1977
Swanson, V.G., Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema: Painter of the Victorian Vision of the Ancient World, London, 1977.

Taylor & Wakeling 2002
Taylor, R., and E. Wakeling, Lewis Carroll Photographer: The Princeton University Library Albums, Princeton, NJ, 2002.

Treuherz et al. 2003
Treuherz, J., and others, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, exh. cat., Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, London, 2003.

Trevelyan 1978
Trevelyan, R., A Pre-Raphaelite Circle, London, 1978.

Troxell 1937
Troxell, J.C., ed., Three Rossettis: Unpublished Letters to and from Dante Gabriel, Christina, William, Cambridge, MA, 1937.

Viljoen 1971
Viljoen, H.G., ed., The Brantwood Diary of John Ruskin together with selected related Letters …, New Haven, 1971.

Waddy 1873
Waddy, F., Cartoon Portraits of Men of the Day, London, 1873.

Walkley 1994
Walkley, G., Artists’ Houses in London 1764–1914, Aldershot, 1994.

Ward 1915
Ward, L., Forty Years of ‘Spy’, London, 1915.

Webling 1914
Webling, P., A Sketch of John Ruskin, London, 1914.

Wedmore 1900
Wedmore, F., ed., Turner and Ruskin, 2 vols, London, 1900.

Wheeler 1999
Wheeler, M., Ruskin’s God, Cambridge, 1999.

Whitehouse 1929
Whitehouse, J.H., ed., The Solitary Warrior: New Letters by Ruskin, London, 1929.

Whitehouse 1938
Whitehouse, J.H., Ruskin the Painter and his Works at Bembridge, Oxford, 1938.

Wood 1981
Wood, C., The Pre-Raphaelites, London, 1981.