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John Ruskin quotes (111)

A book worth reading is worth buying.
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A great thing can only be done by a great person; and they do it without effort.
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A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.
John Ruskin   Category: Money

A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.
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All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time.
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All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.
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All great art is the work of the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly of the soul.
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All that we call ideal in Greek or any other art, because to us it is false and visionary, was, to the makers of it, true and existent.
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All violent feelings have the same effect. They produce in us a falseness in all our impressions of external things, which I would generally characterize as the pathetic fallacy.
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An architect should live as little in cities as a painter. Send him to our hills, and let him study there what nature understands by a buttress, and what by a dome.
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An unimaginative person can neither be reverent or kind.
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Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.
John Ruskin   Category: Art

Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.
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Better the rudest work that tells a story or records a fact, than the richest without meaning.
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Books are divided into two classes, the books of the hour and the books of all time.
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Civilization is the making of civil persons.
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Cursing is invoking the assistance of a spirit to help you inflict suffering. Swearing on the other hand, is invoking, only the witness of a spirit to an statement you wish to make.
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Do not think of your faults, still less of other's faults; look for what is good and strong, and try to imitate it. Your faults will drop off, like dead leaves, when their time comes.
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Doing is the great thing, for if people resolutely do what is right, they come in time to like doing it.
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Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them.
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Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.
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Every great person is always being helped by everybody; for their gift is to get good out of all things and all persons.
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Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
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Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.
John Ruskin   Category: Art

Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.
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Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts - the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art.
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He is the greatest artist who has embodied, in the sum of his works, the greatest number of the greatest ideas.
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He that would be angry and sin not, must not be angry with anything but sin.
John Ruskin   Category: Anger

How long most people would look at the best book before they would give the price of a large turbot for it?
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I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.
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I believe the right question to ask, respecting all ornament, is simply this; was it done with enjoyment, was the carver happy while he was about it?
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I have not written in vain if I have heretofore done anything towards diminishing the reputation of the Renaissance landscape painting.
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Imaginary evils soon become real one by indulging our reflections on them.
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In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.
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In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.
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It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and easy execution in the proper place, than to expand both indiscriminately.
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It is his restraint that is honorable to a person, not their liberty.
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It is impossible, as impossible as to raise the dead, to restore anything that has ever been great or beautiful in architecture. That which I have insisted upon as the life of the whole, that spirit which is given only by the hand and eye of the workman, can never be recalled.
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It is in this power of saying everything, and yet saying nothing too plainly, that the perfection of art consists.
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It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends.
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It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us.
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It seems a fantastic paradox, but it is nevertheless a most important truth, that no architecture can be truly noble which is not imperfect.
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Large fortunes are all founded either on the occupation of land, or lending or the taxation of labor.
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Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close.
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Let us reform our schools, and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons.
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Life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few, we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books.
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Man's only true happiness is to live in hope of something to be won by him. Reverence something to be worshipped by him, and love something to be cherished by him, forever.
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Men cannot not live by exchanging articles, but producing them. They live by work not trade.
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Men don't and can't live by exchanging articles, but by producing them. They don't live by trade, but by work. Give up that foolish and vain title of Trades Unions; and take that of laborers Unions.
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Men were not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions.
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Modern education has devoted itself to the teaching of impudence, and then we complain that we can no longer control our mobs.
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Modern travelling is not travelling at all; it is merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.
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Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.
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Music when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order, and when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder.
John Ruskin   Category: Music

Natural abilities can almost compensate for the want of every kind of cultivation, but no cultivation of the mind can make up for the want of natural abilities.
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Nearly all the powerful people of this age are unbelievers, the best of them in doubt and misery, the most in plodding hesitation, doing as well as they can, what practical work lies at hand.
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No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.
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No art can be noble which is incapable of expressing thought, and no art is capable of expressing thought which does not change.
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No good is ever done to society by the pictorial representation of its diseases.
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No human being, however great, or powerful, was ever so free as a fish.
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No lying knight or lying priest ever prospered in any age, but especially not in the dark ones. Men prospered then only in following an openly declared purpose, and preaching candidly beloved and trusted creeds.
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No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter, he can only be a builder.
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No person who is well bred, kind and modest is ever offensively plain; all real deformity means want for manners or of heart.
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Not only is there but one way of doing things rightly, but there is only one way of seeing them, and that is, seeing the whole of them.
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Nothing can be beautiful which is not true.
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Nothing is ever done beautifully which is done in rivalship: or nobly, which is done in pride.
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One who does not know when to die, does not know how to live.
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Punishment is the last and the least effective instrument in the hands of the legislator for the prevention of crime.
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Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.
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Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
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