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Venice 2014


John Ruskin, Self Portrait

John Ruskin, Self Portrait, watercolor over pencil, 1861



Without Venice, John Ruskin would have never undergone his political awakening. Through his study of architecture in that paradise of cities he was made aware that architecture can have as large of an impact on people’s lives as a painting by Turner. Through his understanding of architecture, its politically inherent nature brought Ruskin to realize that art could be a political force and not just an aesthetic or moral one. By understanding the political power of art, Ruskin found a more satisfying outlet for his moral concerns in writing on social issues. With Ruskin's discovery of his political nature, numerous reformers were inspired to carry out his beliefs into action for the betterment of the common man. We owe the architects of Venice a great debt for causing the political awakening of John Ruskin.