I'The whole difference between a man of genius and other men . . . is that the first remains in great part a child, seeing with the large eyes of children, in perpetual wonder, not conscious of much knowledge conscious, rather, of infinite ignorance.'/I In addition to founding the discipline of modern art criticism and rescuing from obscurity such cornerstones of art history as J.M.W Turner, John Ruskin wrote prolifically, publishing more than 250 works. Among his many famed theories was a notion that each generation boasts just a few men of genius, who differ from their contemporaries both in social relations and in their attitudes to study and the products of men. Collated here are the gems of this theory, for the benefit both of those fascinated by genius and those who might aspire to this status.