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Michael Badu

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  • Comment on: Ruskin’s radicalism still resonates on his 200th anniversary

    Michael Badu's comment 11 February, 2019 12:57 pm

    Interesting that Ruskin is suddenly cool!? Beautiful work in the photo but I'm not sure that a) Ruskin approved of the Gothic Revival and b) meant that architects should necessarily 'get down and dirty' so to speak. His aim was to demonstrate that the division of labour brought about by Capitalism was having a deleterious effect on architectural culture, because it made skilled artisans into 'robotic' operatives (this was also the reason he didn't like Classical Architecture, in addition to the fact that it was essentially pagan). For Ruskin, someone like Giotto was an ideal type, in that Giotto learned his trade steeped in praxis, in a workshop/guild setting (not in an academy). I don't think we can seriously say that Ruskin's ideas are so influential until the economy changes in such a way that will allow this to happen. In today's world, this type of 'artisan' based work is out of the reach of all but the wealthiest and can't have the affect on society that Ruskin desired. Ruskin knew that, which is why he wrote a book on economics, which he himself considered his greatest written work. Ruskin is one of those figures who does not reward cursory, but requires real interest and understanding.

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