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Notes on this view:

British Photographer, Frederick Hollyer, took this portrait of John Ruskin in 1894. Hollyer was a member of the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring, an organization that was part of the Pictorialist Movement at the turn of the 20th century. Pictorialist artists strove to elevate photography to the status of fine art. Hollyer made high-end reproductions of artworks and was a well-known portrait photographer. He photographed many prominent figures in the late 19th century art world, including John Ruskin. Ruskin was one of the most influential thinkers of the Victorian Era. He was a critic of art, architecture, and society, as well as a philanthropist, painter, collector and poet, among other things. His writings inspired the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, founded in 1848, and the Arts and Crafts Movement, which began in the 1860s. His writing is often linked with the Victorian Sage genre of nonfiction writing.

Pictorialists favored the platinum print for its softness and subtlety of tone, which they believed was more artistic. This contemplative portrait of Ruskin has dramatic window lighting that illuminates his face and hands and subtly casts light on the books behind him, further helping to portray him as a learned "sage". Hollyer included this print in a three-volume set of albums called Portraits of many persons of note. The print in the album and other existing prints around the world are cropped differently than this example.