An essay "Ruskin’s Influence on Victorian Architecture" claims that Ruskin was a geologist, mythologist, botanist and an environmentalist. For many years, theorists in Victoria believed that a building not only conveyed meanings but communicate these meanings in deep precision…
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For many years, theorists in Victoria believed that a building not only conveyed meanings but also communicate these meanings in deep precision.1 The meanings communicated vary widely from the society, past, present, the architect, occupants, materials, man, God, its functions, among other meanings, all encoded in its form. However, most Victorian authors believed that between the Middle Ages and the 19th century, the unique architecture in Victoria lost its identity and meaning, and had become dishonest, empty and irrelevant.1 Ruskin was called a prophet and a true polymath with thorough knowledge of the Bible, which he deeply knew, and intimately meditated by heart.2 He was later to use this knowledge to reform this art that had lost meaning. Due to this immense understanding, Ruskin sought to know more and understand the world around him, and would later become a reformer to remedy the evils of a “dissolutely reforming and vulgarly manufacturing age.”3 Ruskin saw an England that had sacrificed, and ignored the love of man, and had embraced the love of wealth and progress, which was honesty to self-interests. 1. Kaufman N.E., (1982). The weight and vigor of their masses: mid-Victorian churches and the lamp of Power in the Ruskin Polygon. Manchester: John Dixon Hunt., p30 2. Atwood, S.E., (2006). “A cowslip form an oxlip and a blackthorn form a white:” Ruskin’s educational; philosophy and Fors Clavigera. UMI, Ann Arbor, 48106-1346., p1 3. Craig, D.M., (2004). Naves and Nukes: John Ruskin as “Augustinian” social theorist? Journal of Religious Ethics, 32(2); pp325-356. Ruskin remarked that the world had forgotten and done way with its soul, and has to be brought back to the things that determined its peace and coexistence.4 It was due to the immorality in the society that Ruskin developed a moral philosophy, which he taught through architectural works and drawings. For example, he likened buildings with sentiment beings remarking that the wall should be “like an organized creature”, which answer, and can end in living energetically. Generally, Ruskin remarked how wonderful it would be to read buildings, and how more wonderful it would be, if these buildings could speak to people.5 Ruskin aim was to transform the society in England through his deep moral teachings, and love for nature that represented coexistence and harmony. His “logical drives through deep religious impulses was not a clerical career but was more of a prophetic one”.6 Through his artistic work Ruskin, continued to advocate social reforms, though he declined any pretensions of leadership.6 To explain his simplicity and value for home as representing families, Ruskin had much if his paintings on domestic architecture. Ruskin had a love for picturesque, the essence of a house as a home, and the idea that a home has to be built by the inhabitants.7 Largely, Ruskin opened a new dimension in artistic work where he saw artistic work, and economic life as mutually reinforcing realms of human entity, either for good or bad, depending on the social relationships that govern the two.8 His treasure on unity and aesthetic is found when he defended the gothic style in terms of its appreciation for higher and lower nature of all things.9 4. Masterfield, J. (1920).
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