John Ruskin/S Beliefs Term Paper

Pages: 3 (691 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Architecture

In Seven lamps of Architecture, Ruskin describes several elements that he contends are needed for a building to be good architecture. The elements are: Sacrifice, Truth, Power, Beauty, Life, Memory, and Obedience. For years discussion has revolved around these beliefs of Ruskin and his statements that only truly free people can create good architecture. The question has been asked: "Why can't good architecture be considered independently of the life circumstances surrounding those who build it?" The answer, according to Ruskin and those who agree with him, is a free spirit and soul are needed for true freedom and creative ability. Those who are not free hold certain preconceived desires to please their masters regardless of their own beliefs, and those desires to please carry over into the architecture world. In addition those who are not free have stress that a true artist cannot live with. A truly free person can look at the empty sky and create a building in his mind, which compliments and dovetails with the surrounding objects and ambiance. Ruskin believed that the soul and body of architectural greatness reflects the soul and body of an ideal society (Ruskin, 1990). How then, he reasons, can we expect any excellence from someone who is not free? They are not living the life of an ideal society and their best efforts will fall woefully short of excellence and perfection.

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While Ruskin is often criticized for what looks like a simplistic viewpoint the foundation of his argument is steeped in truth. For one to be a true creator of beauty and art one must be free of bondage, both physically and mentally. The free man can create without fear while the non-free man must be ever mindful of the possible repercussions of his mind and soul. Therefore a free man might create where an owned man will mimic, and true art, whether it is in the beauty of a building or the paints on a canvass must come from the heart and soul, not the mind.


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How to Cite "John Ruskin/S Beliefs" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

John Ruskin/S Beliefs.  (2002, February 27).  Retrieved March 1, 2021, from

MLA Format

"John Ruskin/S Beliefs."  27 February 2002.  Web.  1 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"John Ruskin/S Beliefs."  February 27, 2002.  Accessed March 1, 2021.