Skip to main content

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


8th February 1819


20th January 1900


8th February 1902




South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type


Material Type


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 © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related Commemorations

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

Writer and Novelist
Charles Kingsley

Charles Kingsley

Writer, Poet and Priest
James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell

Writer and Poet
Jenny Lind

Jenny Lind

Joseph Lemuel Chester

Joseph Lemuel Chester

Writer and Historian
Arthur & Augusta Stanley

Arthur & Augusta Stanley

Writer, Priest, Dean and Historian

There really isn’t a more spectacular building to work on. It’s been one of the most gratifying and rewarding experiences of my life.


Kevin - Galleries Project Manager

Twitter logo Tweet this