Ruskin’s pathologically close relationship with his mother was actually a stimulus to his phenomenal productivity by preventing his normal development in another, personal direction. It gave him confidence in one direction and took it away in another. It also caused an abnormal sensitivity in his case to the aesthetic aspects of life at the expense of other sources of satisfaction. This was both a loss and a gain—especially a gain for the world. I will suggest that, in the light of this, there is no perfect model of motherhood.