Regarded by many of his peers as the foremost intellectual and aesthetic essayist of the Victorian period, John Ruskin's profile during his lifetime was matched only by the decline in his reputation in the years following his death. Ruskin's fame as an art critic began with Modern Painters (1843-60, 5 vols.), a defence of J. M. W. Turner that grew into a much more wide-ranging study of aesthetics and nature. Once established in public life, he pursued an extraordinarily varied and productive career, writing on architecture, sculpture, religion, geology, botany, ornithology, history, and mythology; and thrusting himself into contemporary debates on aesthetics, science, religion and politics. Dogged by mental illhealth and …
Frost, Mark Andrew. "John Ruskin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 June 2006; last revised 30 November -1.
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