Ruskin Memorial Cross: maquette

Contributed by Ruskin Museum

Ruskin Memorial Cross: maquette

John Ruskin [1819-1900] was the prophetic seer of his age, a world famous pundit on art, architecture & moral values. Architect of The Welfare State, he was a pioneering ecologist, & 'Green' activist. Gradually becoming aware of social injustice, he sacrificed his reputation, wealth, & his sanity, in fighting for a better world. His writings & lectures invented art history, & have inspired the first Labour MPs, Tolstoy, Proust, Gandhi and Mandela. His ideas still have much to teach us. He died on 20 January 1900. His first biographer & close confidant, WG Collingwood designed the memorial cross erected over Ruskin's grave in St Andrew's churchyard, Coniston, on Ascension Day 1901. Collingwood's wax maquette features vignettes that symbolise Ruskin's most influential books: art & architecture on the West face, & political economy on the East. These 'illuminations' are linked by Nordic interlaces as Ruskin taught that everything connects.

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