John Ruskin (1819-1900) was an English art critic, social commentator, painter and poet, whose ideas were highly influential during the Victorian era.
His central belief was that society expresses its values through its art and that certain art forms are more conducive than others to spiritual well-being.
He was a champion of the artist J.M.W. Turner and of the Pre-Raphaelite painters; he favoured Gothic Art over Classical Art, and was also influential in the development of the Arts and Craft Movement.
Roger Fry (1866-1934) was also an English art critic and painter, who had a significant influence on public artistic taste.
One of his central beliefs was that the visual elements of a painting are more important than its perceived meaning (see also: bookmark, p.36).