Ruskin, John
The elements of drawing: in three letters to beginners — London, 1857

Page: 334
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License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
1 cm


The worst danger by far, to which a solitary student is
exposed, is that of liking things that he should not. It
is not so much his difficulties, as his tastes, which he
must set himself to conquer; and although, under the
guidance of a master, many works of art may be made
instructive, which are only of partial excellence (the
good and bad of them being duly distinguished), his
safeguard, as long as he studies alone, will be in al-
lowing himself to possess only things, in their way, so
free from faults, that nothing he copies in them can
seriously mislead him, and to contemplate only those
work of art which he knows to be either perfect or
noble in their errors. I will therefore set down in clear
order, the names of the masters whom you may safely
admire, and a few of the books which you may safely
possess. In these days of cheap illustration, the danger
is always rather of your possessing too much than too
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