Friday, January 18, 2019


Wish List

John Ruskin, letter to Charles Eliot Norton (December 28, 1858):
I want to get all the Titians—Tintorets—Paul Veroneses, Turners and Sir Joshuas—in the world—into one great fireproof Gothic gallery of marble and serpentine. I want to get them all perfectly engraved. I want to go and draw all the subjects of Turner's 19,000 sketches in Switzerland & Italy elaborated out myself. I want to get everybody a dinner who has'nt got one. I want to macadamize some new roads to heaven with broken fool's heads. I want to hang up some knaves out of the way: not that I've any dislike to them; but I think it would be wholesome for them; and for other people, and that they would make good crow's meat. I want to play all day long and arrange my cabinet of minerals with new white wool. I want somebody to nurse me when I'm tired. I want Turner's pictures not to fade. I want to be able to draw clouds, and to understand how they go—and I can't make them stand still—nor understand them—They all go sideways—πλάγιαι—(what a fellow that Aristophanes was—and and yet to be always in the wrong, in the Main—except in his love for Aeschylus and the country—Did ever a worthy man do so much mischief on the face of the Earth?) Farther, I want to make the Italians industrious—the Americans quiet;—the Swiss Romantic;—the Roman Catholics Rational—and the English Parliament honest—and I can't do anything and don't understand what I was born for.
Some items on Ruskin's wish list overlap with items on mine.

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