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Studio: international art — 23.1901

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Studio- Talk


LONDON.—An interesting memorial cross,
designed by Mr. W. G. Collingwood,
and carried out by Mr. H. Miles of
Ulverston, has been erected in the
churchyard at Coniston to the memory of John
Ruskin. It is a slender cross, about 9 ft. high,
and is made of a grey-green stone that comes
from the quarries of Tiberthwaite, near Coniston.
To study the general character of this monument
is to think of the times that preceded the Norman
Conquest; and it may seem curious, at a first
glance, that a type of cross should have been
chosen which seems far more appositely asso-
ciated with the life-work of Freeman, the his-
torian, than with that of Ruskin. But perhaps
Mr. Collingwood had in mind the imaginative
loyalty of Ruskin's patriotism, and wished to
make his design a symbol of the continuity
of England's efforts to be upright, free, and great.
A correspondent sends the following account of
the emblematical carving with which this cross has
been decorated :—

"On the side facing the grave and looking east
is a figure with a lyre, representing Mr. Ruskin's
early poems, and the poetry of architecture.
Above this, in a panel of interlaced work, are his
name and the dates 1819—1900. Over the name
is the figure of an artist sketching, with the pines,
about which Mr. Ruskin wrote with such enthu-
siasm. The range of Mont Blanc is slightly indi-
cated, and the rising sun recalls to memory the
device on the cover of ' Modern Painters.' Above
is the Lion of St. Mark, for the ' Stones of
Venice,' and the Candlestick of the Tabernacle
for the 'Seven Lamps.' The south side is filled
with a scroll of Ruskin's favourite flower, the wild
rose, and on the boughs are represented three of
the creatures he wrote about with affection—the
squirrel, the robin, and the kingfisher. This is
meant to symbolise his interest in natural history.
On the west side, looking towards the mountains,
the cross represents his ethical and social teaching.
At the bottom is the parable of the workmen in
the vineyard, receiving each his penny from the
Master—'Unto this last.' Then a design of
' Sesame and Lilies,' and in the middle ' Fors
Clavigera,' the Angel of Fate holding the club,
key, and nail, which every reader of Ruskin's work
will remember. Over this is the ' Crown of Wild
Olive,' and at the top 'St. George and the

Dragon.' The north side is covered wTith inter-
laced pattern. The cross-head on one side bears
the globe, while the other side has a disc with the
Fylfot, or revolving cross, the emblem of eternal



Although it can scarcely be called a great show,
the exhibition of the Royal Academy deserves to
be remembered as one of the most varied, and in
some respects one of the most interesting, that has
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