John Ruskin

 

 

Modern Painters

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Text
Editionsbericht
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Literatur

 

Part II. Of Truth.
Section I.
Chapter II. – That the Truth of Nature is not to be discerned by the uneducated Senses.


2. Men usually see little of what is before their eyes.

The first great mistake that people make in the matter, is the supposition that they must see a thing if it be before their eyes. They forget the great truth told them by Locke, Book II. chap. 9. 3. "This is certain, that whatever alterations are made in the body, if they reach not the mind, whatever impressions are made on the outward parts, if they are not taken notice of within, there is no perception. Fire may burn our bodies, with no other effect than it does a billet, unless the motion be continued to the brain, and there the sense of heat or idea of pain be produced in the mind, wherein consists actual perception. How often may a man observe in himself, that whilst his mind is intently employed in the contemplation of some subjects and curiously surveying some ideas that are there, it takes no notice of impressions of sounding bodies, made upon the organ of hearing, with the same attention that uses to be for the producing the ideas of sound? A sufficient impulse there may be on the organ, but it not reaching the observation of the mind, there follows no perception, and though the motion that uses to produce the idea of sound be made in the ear, yet no sound is heard." And what is here said, which all must feel by their own experience to be true, is more remarkably and necessarily the case with sight than with any other of the senses, for this reason, that the ear is not accustomed to exercise constantly its functions of hearing, it is accustomed to stillness, and the occurrence of a sound of any kind whatsoever is apt to awake attention, [61] and be followed with perception, in proportion to the degree of sound; but the eye during our waking hours, exercises constantly its function of seeing; it is its constant hahit; we always, as far as the bodily organ is concerned, see something, and we always see in the same degree, so that the occurrence of sight, as such, to the eye, is only the continuance of its necessary state of action, and awakes no attention whatsoever, except by the particular nature and quality of the sight. And thus, unless the minds of men are particularly directed to the impressions of sight, objects pass perpetually before the eyes without conveying any impression to the brain at all, and so pass actually unseen, not merely unnoticed, but in the full clear sense of the word, unseen. And numbers of men being pre-occupied with business or care of some description, totally unconnected with the impressions of sight, such is actually the case with them, they receiving from nature only the inevitable sensations of blueness, redness, darkness, light, &c., and except at particular and rare moments, no more whatsoever.

 

3. But mere or less in proportion to their natural sensibility to what is beautiful.

The degree of ignorance of external nature in which men may thus remain, depends therefore, partly on the number and character of the subiects with which their minds may be otherwise occupied, and partly on a natural want of sensibility to the power of beauty of form, and the other attributes of external objects. I do not think that there is ever such absolute incapacity in the eye for distinguishing and receiving pleasure from certain forms and colours, as there is in persons who are technically said to have no ear, for distinguishing notes, but there is naturally every degree of bluntness and acuteness, both for perceiving the truth of form, and for receiving pleasure from it when perceived. And although I believe even the lowest degree of these faculties can he expanded almost unlimitedly by cultivation, the pleasure received never rewards the labour necessary, and the pursuit is abandoned. So that while [62] in those whose sensations are naturally acute and vivid, the call of external nature is so strong that it must be obeyed, and is ever heard louder as the approach to her is nearer, in those whose sensations are naturally blunt, the call is overpowered at once by other thoughts, and their faculties of perception, weak originally, die of disuse.

 

4. Connected with a perfect state of moral feeling.

With this kind of bodily sensibility to colour and form is intimately connected that higher sensibility which we revere as one of the chief attributes of all noble minds, and as the chief spring of real poetry. I believe this kind of sensibility may be entirely resolved into the acuteness of bodily sense of which I have been speaking, associated with love, love I mean in its infinite and holy functions, as it embraces divine and human and brutal intelligences, and hallows the physical perception of external objects by association, gratitude, veneration, and other pure feelings of our moral nature. And although the discovery of truth is in itself altogether intellectual, and dependent merely on our powers of physical perception and abstract intellect, wholly independent of our moral nature, yet these instruments (perception and judgment) are so sharpened and brightened, and so far more swiftly and effectively used, when they have the energy and passion of our moral nature to bring them into action perception is so quickened by love, and judgment so tempered by veneration, that, practically, a man of deadened moral sensation is always dull in his perception of truth, and thousands of the highest and most divine truths of nature are wholly concealed from him, however constant and indefatigable may be his intellectual search. Thus then, the farther we look, the more we are limited in the number of those to whom we should choose to appeal as judges of truth, and the more we perceive how great a number of mankind may be partially incapacitated from either discovering or feeling it.

 

 

 

 

Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

Modern Painters:
Their Superiority in the Art of Landscape Painting to all The Ancient Masters
Proved by Examples of the True, the Beautiful, and the Intellectual, from the Works of Modern Artists,
especially from those of J. M. W. Turner Esq., R.A.
By a Graduate of Oxford.
London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1843.

Unser Auszug: S. 60-62.

URL: https://archive.org/details/gri_33125010813760
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/010823158

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

 

 

 

Werkverzeichnis


Verzeichnis

Richard Herne Shepherd: The Bibliography of Ruskin.
A Bibliographical List Arranged in Chronological Order
of the Published Writings in Prose and Verse, of John Ruskin, M. A.
5. ed., rev. and enl. London: Eliot Stock o.J. [1884].
URL: https://archive.org/details/bibliographyrus00shepgoog
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100340843



[Ruskin, John]: Modern Painters. [Volume I].
Their Superiority in the Art of Landscape Painting to all The Ancient Masters
Proved by Examples of the True, the Beautiful, and the Intellectual, from the Works of Modern Artists,
especially from those of J. M. W. Turner Esq., R.A.
By a Graduate of Oxford.
London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1843.
URL: https://archive.org/details/gri_33125010813760
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/010823158

[Ruskin, John]: Modern Painters. Volume II.
Containing Part III, Sections 1 and 2. Of the Imaginative and Theoretic Faculties.
By a Graduate of Oxford.
London: Smith, Elder and Co. 1846.
URL: https://archive.org/details/modernpainters27ruskgoog   [2. ed. 1848]

Ruskin, John: Modern Painters. Volume III.
Containing Part IV. Of Many Things.
London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1856.
URL: https://archive.org/details/modernpainters04conggoog
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/012336547
URL: https://books.google.fr/books?id=z1kWAAAAYAAJ
S. 157-172: Of the Pathetic Fallacy.

Ruskin, John: Modern Painters. Volume IV.
Containing Part V. Of Mountain Beauty.
London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1856.
URL: https://archive.org/details/modernpainters02conggoog
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011544062

Ruskin, John: Modern Painters. Volume V.
Completing the Work and containing Parts
VI. Of Leaf Beauty.
VII. Of Cloud Beauty.
VIII. Of Ideas of Relation. 1. Of Invention Formal.
IX. Of Ideas of Relation. 2. Of Invention Spiritual.
London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1860.
URL: https://archive.org/details/modernpainters00conggoog
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011544062


Ruskin, John: The Works.
Hrsg. von E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn.
39 Bde. London: George Allen 1903-1912.
URL: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/the-ruskin/the-complete-works-of-ruskin/

 

 

 

Literatur

Ballantyne, Andrew: John Ruskin. London 2015.

Bevis, Matthew (Hrsg.): The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Poetry. Oxford u.a. 2013.

Bristow, Joseph: Reforming Victorian poetry: poetics after 1832. In: The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry. Hrsg. von Joseph Bristow. Cambridge u.a. 2000, S. 1-24.

Casaliggi, Carmen u.a. (Hrsg.): Ruskin in Perspective. Contemporary Essays. Newcastle 2007.

Christ, Carol T.: Victorian Poetics. In: A Companion to Victorian Poetry. Hrsg. von Richard Cronin u.a. Malden, MA 2002, S. 1-21.

Daley, Kenneth: The Rescue of Romanticism. Walter Pater and John Ruskin. Athens 2001.

Feldman, Jessica R.: Victorian Modernism. Pragmatism and the Varieties of Aesthetic Experience. Cambridge u.a.2002.

Hanley, Keith u.a. (Hrsg.): Persistent Ruskin. Studies in Influence, Assimilation and Effect. Farnham, Surrey u.a. 2013.

Martus, Steffen u.a. (Hrsg.): Lyrik im 19. Jahrhundert. Gattungspoetik als Reflexionsmedium der Kultur. Bern u.a. 2005 (= Publikationen zur Zeitschrift für Germanistik, 11).

Natarajan, Uttara: Ruskin on Imagination: A Via Negativa. In: Philological Quarterly 96 (2017), S. 373-394.

Nijibayashi, Kei: Recreating Romantic Style: Ambivalence towards Wordsworth's Poetics in John Ruskin's Modern Painters. In: The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 27 (2018), S. 58-68.

Roussilon-Constanty, Laurence: Beyond Proust: The Legacy of Ruskin's Thought in France. In: Nineteenth-Century Prose 38.2 (2011), S. 133-156.

Warner, Eric / Hough, Graham (Hrsg.): Strangeness and Beauty. An Anthology of Aesthetic Criticism 18401910. 2 Bde. Cambridge u.a. 2009.

Warren, Alba H.: English Poetic Theory 1825 – 1865. London 1966 (= Princeton Studies in English, 29).

Wilmer, Clive: Ruskin and the Challenge of Modernity. In: Nineteenth-Century Prose 38.2 (2011), S. 13-34.

 

 

Edition
Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer