Pictures and Picture-Criticism

Mr. Ruskin’s truth is the truth which the spirit and tendency of these times called for; and the force and felicity of style and variety of knowledge with which it has been urged by the Oxford graduate entitle him fairly to be called the Luther of painting. He is the asserter of that individualism which is in art what private judgment is in theology; and he has risen up against the popes and doctors of painting, as the Wittenberg monk rose up against the popes and doctors of the Church. He has already received the honours of persecution; and if some ancient academicians and connoisseurs had the aid of the secular arm to put down art-heresy, we might see the bulky volumes of Modern Painters blazing in Trafalgar Square, with Mr Ruskin perhaps beside the pile, in a san-benito of Pre-Raphaelite canvases, waiting his turn to feed the faggots.

· George Richmond, ‘Pictures and Picture-Criticism’, National Review, July 1856 (p.93)