Earth thirteenth century
North porch (right side)
Ruskin cites this sculpture as an example of the effects of misguided attempts at restoration, even by those with sincerest devotion to the work of art. In essence, he believes that works of art from past ages, though of enormous value to the present, nonetheless have lifespans: after one has done one's best to care for a building or other work of art, one has to let it go rather than create a misleading simulacrum of the real thing. In other words, like his follower William Morris, he believes we should care for buildings, not let them decay and then restore them according to present taste.
Photograph and text by George P. Landow 2010
Identification of sculpture by James L. Spates and Pascal Debout with special thanks to the gentleman in the bookshop near the cathedral who let them borrow one of the books from his shop.
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