John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, artist and social reformer (see Ruskin's life).

In Modern Painters I, Ruskin made his first significant statements on many of the subjects that would occupy him throughout his life. On Art, for instance, see:

Modern Painters I is significant in terms of the following themes:

Modern Painters I also indicates much about nineteenth-century Europe. See:

The long gestation period of Modern Painters I that finally bore fruit in 1843 did not put a stop to Ruskin's continuing revisions in later editions (see Textual Notes). These revisions were themselves often related to the Critical Reception of Modern Painters I and would feature from time to time throughout Ruskin's life. (See also the Significance of Modern Painters I)