John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political economy. His writing styles and literary forms were equally varied. Ruskin penned essays and treatises, poetry and lectures, travel guides and manuals, letters and even a fairy tale.

No small misery is caused by overworked and unhappy people, in the dark views which they necessarily take up themselves, and force upon others, of work itself.

Pre-Raphaelitism, section 1 (1851)

You talk of the scythe of Time, and the tooth of Time: I tell you, Time is scytheless and toothless; it is we who gnaw like the worm — we who smite like the scythe. It is ourselves who abolish — ourselves who consume: we are the mildew, and the flame.

A Joy for Ever, lecture II, section 74 (1857)

For certainly it is excellent discipline for an author to feel that he must say all he has to say in the fewest possible words, or his reader is sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words, or his reader will certainly misunderstand them.

A Joy for Ever, note 6 (1857)

Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.

The Two Paths, Lecture II: The Unity of Art, section 54 (1859)

The greatest efforts of the race have always been traceable to the love of praise, as its greatest catastrophes to the love of pleasure.

Sesame and Lilies, lecture I: Of Kings' Treasures, section 3 (1864-1865)

There is but one question ultimately to be asked respecting every line you draw, Is it right or wrong? If right, it most assuredly is not a "free" line, but an intensely continent, restrained and considered line; and the action of the hand in laying it is just as decisive, and just as "free" as the hand of a first-rate surgeon in a critical incision.

Cestus of Aglaia, chapter VI, section 72 (1865-66)

A little group of wise hearts is better than a wilderness full of fools.

The Crown of Wild Olive, lecture III: War, section 114 (1866)

What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

The Crown of Wild Olive, lecture IV: The Future of England, section 151 (1866)