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Page 256

CHAPTER XII
THE VICTORIAN ERA

Turner, whom he declared to be " the greatest painter of all time." However that might be, there was no question that the young man of twenty-four was the greatest art critic of his time. For nearly twenty years he worked on the five volumes of Modern Painters, writing also during that time several books on architecture. I-ie almost always gave fanciful titles to his writings, and one of his
earliest architectural works he called Stones of Venice. Ruskin was eager to have all, even the humblest of working - men, enjoy art and beauty ; but he found that it was very hard for a man to produce works of art or even to enjoy beauty when he was not sure of his next meal. Such thoughts as these led Ruskin to write Unto "llaz's Last and Munera Pulveris, wherein he discussed fearlessly the relations between rich and poor, employer and employed, etc. His ideas were looked upon as revolutionary, and the magazine in which Unto This Last was coming out refused to continue publishing the chapters. In Ruskin's time there were better opportunities to make fortunes than there had been before, and therefore the struggle for wealth was increasingly eager. He preached that not competition but Christian thoughtfulness was the proper spirit of trade ; that idleness was guilt, but that labour should be made happy by the pleasures of art and the joy that comes from the ability to appreciate nature. These are the thoughts

travel books:
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