Ruskin, John (1819-1900)

John Ruskin, 1819-1900. John Ruskin, 1819-1900. Photograph, taken in 1863.

John Ruskin, also known as the Sage of Coniston, was an English artist and art critic, who was involved in various nineteenth century movements, notably the Arts and Crafts Movement headed by William Morris. Ruskin was an art patron, painter, water colourist, as well as an art critic and social commentator. His work influenced many artists and artisans, including embroiderers.

Ruskin's theories and work were influential in the setting up of the Ruskin Linen Industry, Keswick, and the production Vintage postage card showing the grave of John Ruskin.of Ruskin lace. When he died in January 1900, his family was offered a prestigious burial place for the deceased in Westminster Abbey, London. They declined, however, and he was buried in the local churchyard at Coniston (UK). A contemporary description of the funeral noted that: “..... The coffin was covered with a pall given by the Ruskin Linen Industry of Keswick, lined with bright crimson silk and embroidered with the motto, “Unto this Last.” It is not clear who embroidered the pall, but it is possible that it was worked in Ruskin lace.

See also the TRC Needles entry on the John Ruskin Prize 2014.


  • COOK, Edward Tyas (1911). The Life of John Ruskin, vol. 2, 1860-1900, London: John Allen and Company, p. 539.
  • PRICKETT, Elizabeth (1999), Ruskin Lace and Linen Work, London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., revised edition (first printed 1985).


Last modified on Tuesday, 02 May 2017 16:17