John Ruskin (1819-1900) was one of the most influential writers on art and architecture in the nineteenth century Britain. He wrote passionately in defence of the art of J.M.W. Turner and the early works of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and argued that Gothic architecture, especially in Venice and northern Italy, represented a statement of the beliefs of the architects and builders who created it. In all his extensive writings, he expressed admiration for works of art that reflected truth to nature, both literal and spiritual. As an artist, he sought to capture the forms of nature and art, believing that drawing encouraged close observation and understanding of the subject.