John Ruskin
Born: 08 Feb, 1819
Died: 20 Jan, 1900
Field: Writer
Location in the Abbey: South transept, poets corner
Type of memorial: Plaque
Type of material: Bronze

A memorial to author and critic John Ruskin was unveiled in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey on 8 February 1902. The bronze roundel within a wreathed frame encloses a portrait relief of Ruskin and was the final piece made by the sculptor Onslow Ford. On either side of the portrait is the inscription "Iohn Rvskin" with the dates 1819 and 1900 at the top and bottom. A memorial service was held for him in the Abbey on 26 January 1900.

John was born in London on 8 February 1819, son of John Ruskin, sherry merchant, and his wife Margaret (Cox). He attended Christ Church Oxford and travelled abroad. He married Euphemia Gray but the marriage was later annulled. His works included Modern Painters, The Seven Lamps of Architecture and The Stones of Venice. In 1870 he was made Slade professor of art at Oxford and started a drawing school. He was one of the greatest artistic and social influences of his generation. He died on 20 January 1900 at his home in Coniston and was buried there, declining offer of burial in the Abbey.

A photo of the memorial can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

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