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On John Ruskin's first meeting with J.M.W. Turner

There wasn't room to put this in the actual 500th blog post without making it extremely long, so in honour of the occasion, here is a quotation from John Ruskin, the nineteenth century English writer from whom I took the title of this blog. It recounts a day from Ruskin's youth when Ruskin and his father were walking on the grounds of a country estate, and came upon the painter Turner, who had been fishing in a nearby lake:

"When we returned, and while waiting for the boat, Turner became quite chatty, rigging me a little ship, cut out of a chip, sticking masts into it, and making her sails from a leaf or two torn from a small sketch-book, in which I recollect seeing a memorandum in colour that he had made of the sky and sunset. The ship was hardly ready for sea before the man and boat came lumbering up to the bank, and Turner was busy directing and helping him to recover the line, and, if possible, the fish. This, however, escaped in the confusion. 

J.M.W. Turner, 'The Lake, Petworth: Sunset, a Stag Drinking' (1829)
"When the line was got in, my father gave the man a couple of shillings for bringing the boat; while Turner, remarking that it was no use fishing any more after the water had been so much disturbed, reeled up his other lines, and, slipping a finger through the pike's gills, walked off with us toward Petworth House. Walking behind, admiring the great fish, I noticed as Turner carried it how the tail dragged on the grass, while his own coat-tails were but little further from the ground ; also that a roll of sketches, which I picked up, fell from a pocket in one of these coat-tails, and Turner, after letting my father have a peep at them, tied the bundle up tightly with a bit of the sacred line."--John Ruskin, Praeterita & Dilecta.

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