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Ruskin's romantic triangle: neither wealth nor beauty but life


  • Yuichi Shionoya

    () (Hitotsubashi University, Japan)


Most Ruskin studies deal with his art theory and economic theory separately. This article intends to interpret both discourses in a unified way from the viewpoint of romanticism. While his economic theory is famously summarized in a thesis «No Wealth but Life», the art theory he worked on can be formalized as a thesis ‘No Beauty but Life’. Thus we have a unified thesis ‘Neither Wealth nor Beauty but Life’, which may be called ‘Ruskin’s triangle’. I argue that the concept of Life is vital for Ruskin’s unified knowledge; it is identified with its three aspects (Capability, Composition, and Labour) and linked with its six symbolic determinants (Admiration, Hope and Love; Air, Water and Earth).

Suggested Citation

  • Yuichi Shionoya, 2014. "Ruskin's romantic triangle: neither wealth nor beauty but life," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 22(1), pages 15-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:22:y:2014:1:2:p:15-50

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