Britain's most influential art critic of the nineteenth century; author of widely-read books on artists and architecture. Ruskin was the only son of an affluent Scottish wine importer living in London, of John James Ruskin (1785-1864). His mother, Margaret Cox [née Cock] (1781-1871), a first cousin to his father, was doting and over protective, which likely contributed to his psychological afflictions and (presumed) homosexuality. Ruskin was exposed to the arts at an early age, tutored privately and by his father. The family made several trips to France, Italy and Switzerland.