Happy Birthday John Ruskin!! English author and art critic, John Ruskin, born in 1819, was the son of a wealthy wine merchant. He was first published at age 15, initially writing essays on art and architecture, becoming increasingly concerned with social reform and interested in the connections of art, morality and social justice. Being a teacher, an observation of Ruskin’s I am particularly fond of transfers to today’s society as well, “Let us reform our schools, and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons.”He was a naturalist and especially appreciative of JMW Turner’s work. Ruskin was an artist in his own right, creating detailed nature studies such as the pen and ink on paper Study of Gneiss Rock, Glenfinlas, below.