art and war ….
In December 1865, John Ruskin gave a commencement a speech to the cadets graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. It was based on a startling thesis – that war is a necessary precondition to art.
“All pure and noble arts are founded on war; no great art ever yet rose on Earth, but among a nation of soldiers. There is no art among a shepherd people if it remains at peace. There is no art among an agricultural people if it remains at peace. Commerce is barely consistent with fine art, but cannot produce. Manufacture not only is unable to produce it, but invariably destroys whatever seeds of it exist. There is no great art possible to a nation but that which is based on battle.”