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Essays

Continuation of the previous Lecture; delivered July 13, 1857.

61. The heads of our subject which remain for our consideration this evening are, you will remember, the accumulation and the distribution of works of art. Our complete inquiry fell into four divisions—first, how to get our genius; then, how to apply our genius; then, how to accumulate its results; and lastly, how to distribute them. We considered, last evening, how to discover and apply it;—we have to-night to examine the modes of its preservation and distribution.

(Read for the author before the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science in the autumn of 1858; and printed in the Transactions of the Society for that year, pp. 311-16.)

Paper read before the Metaphysical Society, May 11th, 1875.[23]

126. You will, I doubt not, willingly permit me to begin your lessons in real practice of art in the words of the greatest of English painters: one also, than whom there is indeed no greater, among those of any nation, or any time,—our own gentle Reynolds.

146. The plan of the divisions of art-schools which I gave you in the last lecture is of course only a first germ of classification, on which we are to found farther and more defined statement; but for this very reason it is necessary that every term of it should be very clear in your minds.

173. To-day I must try to complete our elementary sketch of schools of art, by tracing the course of those which were distinguished by faculty of colour, and afterwards to deduce from the entire scheme advisable methods of immediate practice.

You remember that, for the type of the early schools of colour, I chose their work in glass; as for that of the early schools of chiaroscuro, I chose their work in clay.

The following lectures were the most important piece of my literary work done with unabated power, best motive, and happiest concurrence of circumstance. They were written and delivered while my mother yet lived, and had vividest sympathy in all I was attempting;—while also my friends put unbroken trust in me, and the course of study I had followed seemed to fit me for the acceptance of noble tasks and graver responsibilities than those only of a curious traveler, or casual teacher.

[1] The full meaning of this sentence, and of that which closes the paragraph, can only be understood by reference to my more developed statements on the subject of Education in "Modern Painters" and in "Time and Tide." The following fourth paragraph is the most pregnant summary of my political and social principles I have ever been able to give.

by John Ruskin

1. The duty which is to-day laid on me, of introducing, among the elements of education appointed in this great University, one not only new, but such as to involve in its possible results some modification of the rest, is, as you well feel, so grave, that no man could undertake it without laying himself open to the imputation of a kind of insolence; and no man could undertake it rightly, without being in danger of having his hands shortened by dread of his task, and mistrust of himself.

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