Skip to main content

Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey is no longer open for public worship, general visiting or private prayer. Meanwhile, the community of Abbey clergy, privately and following guidance given, will sustain the worship of a building that has been a witness to God’s grace and glory for over a thousand years.

Find out more

John Ruskin

A memorial to author and critic John Ruskin was unveiled in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey on 8th 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 26th January 1900.

John was born in London on 8th 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 20th January 1900 at his home in Coniston and was buried there, declining offer of burial in the Abbey.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Born

8th February 1819

Died

20th January 1900

Memorial

8th February 1902

Occupation

Writer

Location

South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type

Plaque

Material Type

Bronze

John Ruskin
John Ruskin

by Herbert Rose Barraud (1845-1896) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

John Ruskin
John Ruskin memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

1819-1880
Writer and Novelist
Charles Kingsley

Charles Kingsley

1819-1875
Writer , Poet and Priest/Minister
James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell

1819-1891
Writer and Poet
Jenny Lind

Jenny Lind

1820-1887
Musician
Joseph Lemuel Chester

Joseph Lemuel Chester

1821-1882
Writer and Historian
Arthur & Augusta Stanley

Arthur & Augusta Stanley

1822-1876
Writer , Dean , Historian and Priest/Minister

I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

Alex - Abbey Marshal

Twitter logo Tweet this